ECONOMY

ECB continues to fund banks, outflow eases

Early on Tuesday, for the third working day in a row, the European Central Bank decided to further extend the amount of money available to Greek lenders in the form of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) by an undisclosed amount, although the deposit outflow has clearly eased.

ECB President Mario Draghi reportedly reassured Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday night that Frankfurt would continue to support the Greek credit system at least until June 30, when the bailout program ends. Bankers estimate that Tuesday’s ELA extension amounted to about 1 billion euros, taking the limit close to 88 billion euros.

Bank officials estimated that withdrawals on Tuesday amounted to between 100 and 200 million euros, the lowest of the last three weeks.

Bank sources say that the agreement between Athens and its creditors will have to be completed by Thursday for the ECB cash flow to continue, otherwise Frankfurt may pull the plug on its funding.