Greece to lift capital controls by mid-2016

Greece to lift capital controls by mid-2016

Greece expects to fully lift capital controls imposed at the height of the eurozone crisis in July by mid-2016, deputy finance minister George Chouliarakis said on Tuesday.

He told visiting correspondents the controls would be eased gradually once Greek banks successfully complete a recapitalisation this month and confidence returns to the economy with the start of talks early next year on debt relief.

“It would be safe to say that all controls will be removed by the end of the first half of 2016,” said Chouliarakis, who is Athens' chief negotiator with international creditors.

“We need to be careful. We can't do it quickly because we don't want a setback,” he added.

The government imposed capital controls and ordered a three-week bank holiday to stem deposit outflows after Greece rejected a bailout deal with euro zone lenders at the end of June.

It eventually reached a new three-year bailout agreement in August and is now in the process of implementing agreed reforms that will pave the pay for debt relief negotiations next year.


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