Stournaras eyes QE en­try by end-2016

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece ex­pects to take part in the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s bond-buy­ing pro­gram at the end of the year, Greek Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor Yan­nis Stournaras said in a news­pa­per in­ter­view pub­lished on Sun­day. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ECB’s mas­sive quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing scheme would mark an­other key step to­ward nor­mal­iz­ing Greece’s bat­tered econ­omy, which re­mains in re­ces­sion, weighed down by cap­i­tal con­trols and aus­ter­ity mea­sures linked to its third multi­bil­lion-euro bailout pro­gram. “Re­al­is­ti­cally, I could see some­thing like that at the end of the year,” Stournaras, who is also a mem­ber of the ECB’s Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil, was quoted as telling Avgi news­pa­per. “Most of the gover­nors wish to see a sus­tain­abil­ity anal­y­sis for the Greek debt first,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we have to wait for the Eurogroup to do it. The ECB can do the debt anal­y­sis.” The ECB re­in­stated Greek banks’ ac­cess to cheap fund­ing op­er­a­tions last month af­ter more than a year on an emer­gency life­line. The banks lost their ac­cess to the ECB’s reg­u­lar fund­ing op­er­a­tions early last year when Greece came close to being ejected from the eu­ro­zone. Greek banks saw a 42 bil­lion euro de­posit out­flow from De­cem­ber to July last year.

Con­fer­ence tourism. Con­fer­ences fetch 95 mil­lion euros to Athens per year, City Hall has an­nounced, with the view that con­fer­ence tourism is a key route to­ward financial growth and at­tract­ing rev­enues to the Greek cap­i­tal. The City of Athens has just al­lo­cated al­most 600,000 euros to its in­ter­na­tional pro­mo­tion for con­fer­ences.

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