BUSINESS

Top Greek bankers look forward to completion of country’s bailout review

YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

TAGS: Economy, Banking

Athens’s completion of the agreement with the country’s creditors and the bailout review will constitute a major and decisive step toward Greece exiting the crisis, the lifting of uncertainty and the return of the economy to normal conditions, senior bank officials tell Kathimerini.

Eurobank chief Nikolaos Karamouzis told Kathimerini that ending the negotiations successfully “will reduce the uncertainties that are keeping the country in a state of stagnation, and will strengthen confidence in its prospects. It will also lead the European Central Bank to a series of favorable decisions which will enhance liquidity, reduce interest rates, improve the profits of banks and form a more positive economic and investment climate. They will further move the focus of talks in political and economic life in Greece from austerity toward growth and the sustainable restructuring of the national debt, as well as encouraging the inflow of foreign capital, the return of deposits to the credit system and the opening of the capital markets – all of which are vital conditions for the country to return to growth.”

He went on to anticipate that after a deal is reached, the discussion will shift toward forming a national growth plan based on revitalizing private investment, export-oriented growth and the utilization of the country’s comparative advantages.

The president of National Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Bank Association, Louka Katseli, recently told Kathimerini in an interview that the successful completion of the review is a basic condition for the reduction of uncertainty and the consolidation of confidence in the economy. She also noted that sustainable growth requires not only the expansion of the gross domestic product, but mainly the sustainable economic and technological transformation of the country’s production base, which will come through investments.

Piraeus Group head Michalis Sallas said in a recent interview that completing the review will lead to the gradual restoration of confidence in Greece and the prospects of its economy in the eyes of the investing community. He did note, however, that the review’s completion should be combined with the adoption of measures that will reduce the presence of the state in the economy.

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