Deposit withdrawals turned into ‘trapped’ cash

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told Parliament on Friday that Greeks have withdrawn some 65 billion euros from their bank accounts in the last two years, out of which no more than 16 billion has gone abroad (at least legally).

?There is therefore another 49 billion euros turned into spending, but it is a shame for them to be trapped in houses and not returned to the banks,? the minister said.

Venizelos stressed that local lenders have come under much pressure as their clients have chosen to withdraw a large part of their deposits.

The data he presented showed that less than 10 percent of the money moved abroad went to Switzerland, with banks in the United Kingdom receiving some 32 percent.