ECONOMY

ECB to hold emergency cash review for Greek banks this week

The European Central Bank will hold an extraordinary review of the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) extended to Greek lenders this week, two officials familiar with the matter said, as the Frankfurt-based institution is raising the pressure on Athens to meet its bailout commitments.

The Governing Council of the ECB decided to hold a weekly review of the liquidity needs of Greek banks, instead of the regular biweekly process, in its meeting in Cyprus last one of the officials said.

The council decided to monitor ELA provision for Greece more closely, the official said, adding that the review will take place either on Wednesday or Thursday.

A Bank of Greece official said that no decision has been made yet on whether the country’s central bank will ask for an increase in the ELA ceiling during this week’s review.

The ECB has already lent 100 billion euros to Greece’s banks, or 68 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, President Mario Draghi said on March 5.

The ECB Governing Council increased the available pool of ELA, which constitute the bulk of that lending, by 500 million to 68.8 billion euros, he added.

[Bloomberg]