ECONOMY

Houliarakis wants to avert worsening of economy’s image and to prepare bank recap

houliarakis-wants-to-avert-worsening-of-economy-s-image-and-to-prepare-bank-recap

Caretaker Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis’s key objectives are to avoid the further deterioration of Greek economy’s image and to lead the country’s creditor sector smoothly toward its new recapitalization.

The Eurogroup council of eurozone finance ministers is scheduled to convene in Luxembourg on September 12, and Houliarakis – the Greek government’s chief negotiator in the run-up to the third bailout package – intends to show his counterparts that the decisions implementing the bailout agreement have not been frozen by the snap polls. The sounds coming from Brussels are quite positive, but officials stress that the bailout program will have to be adhered to religiously.

In this context, the ministry will have to form a draft for the new budget with the main priorities that will be tabled in Parliament by the new government on October 5. It will also have to issue a series of ministerial decisions, such as that for the extension of the indirect register of banking transactions to include an archive of 10 years, so as to illustrate that the ministry has not stopped operating during the pre-election period.

Houliarakis also intends to strengthen the credit system and lead it smoothly toward its second recap process in three years, which will have to be completed by November 15. That would also require the successful completion of the new monitoring by the creditors’ representatives in the fall.

The recap timetable is very tight. At the moment the process to calculate the capital requirements of the banks based on the assessment of their loan portfolios and the stress tests is ongoing. The ministry must also prepare a bill that will determine the recapitalization model for Greek banks.

The caretaker minister further wants to revert the banking system to normality and to gradually see the capital controls lifted. Although this is a process that will take several months, the Finance Ministry believes that if the situation is smooth enough, certain limitations – mainly concerning enterprises – could be lifted.