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 multi-billion-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.
Referring to the relaxation of capital controls, which limit cash withdrawals to 420 euros per week, Stournaras said the next step would be to free up transactions for “new money” entering the banking system.
“What applies to money from abroad will [also] apply to the money that is being kept under mattresses,” he said.