Hardouvelis: ECB QE won’t solve Greek cash problems

Any European Central Bank quantitative easing program would help Greece’s economy but would not be enough to solve its liquidity problems, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Tuesday.

“A quantitative easing program alone is not enough to solve the Greek economy’s liquidity problems,” Hardouvelis said at an economic conference in Athens.

“But it is one more tool of monetary policy implementation, which boosts liquidity and demand in goods and services.”

The ECB is widely expected to announce a new scheme to print money to buy eurozone government bonds, known as quantitative easing or QE, possibly this week, to combat the threat of deflation and get the eurozone economy back on a steady footing.

If such a scheme amounted to 550 billion euros, Greece would benefit from 15.9 billion euros in purchases of its government paper, Hardouvelis said in prepared remarks.

He added that this should not be reduced based on factors such as the country’s sovereign credit rating.