Greece’s central bank chief George Provopoulos has decided to cut his salary by almost a third as part of cost savings at the Bank of Greece and efforts to make the economy more competitive, a banking source told Reuters on Tuesday.
The banking source said Provopoulos informed European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi of his decision in a letter outlining measures already taken to reduce operating costs and wages at the Greek central bank in the last years.
“I am determined to continue this process of cost rationalisation at the Bank of Greece. In this connection, I have decided to reduce my salary by an additional 30 percent following a cut of 20 percent in December 2009, bringing the cumulative decline since 2009 to 50 percent,» Provopoulos was quoted as saying in the letter to Draghi.
The central bank’s two deputy governors also agreed to cut their salaries by the same percentage.
Greece is striving to persuade its foreign lenders to accept a savings package of nearly 12 billion euros over the next two years, keen to unlock the aid payments it needs to avoid bankruptcy.
A Bank of Greece official confirmed the letter was sent to the ECB’s head.
Cuts in overtime pay and travel expenses and downsizing of the central bank’s branch network by 40 percent has helped to reduce its operating costs by 21 percent in the last two years despite an increased workload because of the debt crisis.
The central bank reduced its wage bill by 14 percent over the last two years after staff cuts and related measures. A new three-year wage agreement that went into effect in May this year will reduce pay by 17 percent.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias has already decided to forego his salary.