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 Greek debt: ECB 'to maintain funding limit'

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Posts : 34660
Join date : 2011-08-09

PostSubject: Greek debt: ECB 'to maintain funding limit'   Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:09 am

The European Central Bank says it will maintain its emergency funding of Greek banks at the current level.

The ECB said that it stood ready to review the decision on its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) and would work closely with the Bank of Greece.

BBC economics editor Robert Peston says the ECB is not providing any additional aid to Greece, which will lead to huge pressure for capital controls.

Greek banks depend on ELA, and cutting it could push Greece out of the euro.
An ECB spokesman told the BBC: "Greece still has access to the ELA."
The current ceiling for ELA, agreed on Friday, is €89bn (£63bn). It is not clear if all that money has been disbursed.

Sunday's decision by the ECB not to provide additional aid may result in Greek banks closing on Monday, pending the imposition of capital controls, our economics editor says.
That would be a significant step towards Greece leaving the euro, though it would not make it inevitable, he adds.

The ECB statement quotes Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras as saying: "The Bank of Greece, as a member of the eurosystem, will take all measures necessary to ensure financial stability for Greek citizens in these difficult circumstances."

'Dark hour for Europe'

The statement comes after eurozone finance minsters on Saturday refused a Greek request to extend Greece's current bailout.

The bailout expires on Tuesday, the same day that Greece has to make a payment of €1.5bn (£1.1bn) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it risks defaulting on.

Greece and its creditors had been locked in negotiations over a new bailout on Friday when the Greek government called a surprise referendum for 5 July over whether to accept the terms it was being offered. It has described the international offer as "not viable".

It then asked for an extension of its current deal until after the vote was completed.
Earlier on Sunday, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told the BBC that the prospect of Greece's creditors ending their financial support was "appalling".
"It is a dark hour for Europe," he said.

"Nevertheless... we have a clear conscience. We know that we have bent over backwards to accommodate the institutions, the troika [the European Commission, ECB and IMF], our European partners, and they have not come to the party, they have not met us half way - not even a quarter of the way."

In the cashpoint queue: Anna Holligan, BBC News, Athens

People standing in the queues for the ATM are heatedly debating politics. That's all you hear them talking about. The disagreements climax, the talking turns into shouting and now insults are being thrown - they are calling each other "ignorant", "naive", "foolish", "suicidal".

All discussions seem to lead to the question: "So who did YOU vote for in January?" Those who supported Syriza defend it by arguing that at least someone is standing up for the country, but they are attacked by others as responsible for the bank run.

"They took too much risk." That is the feeling among many people.

Obviously, they are also discussing the referendum. Older people realise that a "yes" at the referendum means that pension schemes will need to be reformed.

I even saw two people depositing money, claiming this was the conscientious thing to do. One of them tried to convince others not to withdraw their cash.


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