ECONOMY

Stournaras says Grexit is ‘closed chapter’

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Greece's central bank chief told the Financial Times on Friday he expects the country's economy to return to growth in the second half of this year and that the risk of Grexit, or leaving the euro zone, is no longer in question.

"In 2016 we will have a negative carryover from the last quarter of 2015. We may have positive growth in the last two quarters," Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras told the FT in a video interview.

Asked about Grexit, Stournaras said: "This is a closed chapter."

Stournaras has urged the leftist-led government in Athens to implement reforms agreed with the country's lenders, warning that backtracking would entail risks the economy could not withstand.

He also said the migrant crisis could prove costly to Greece.

More than 800,000 refugees and migrants fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries arrived in Greece from Turkey in 2015, risking the short but dangerous sea crossing, often on inflatable rafts.

"The analysis we have done shows the benefits (of such immigration) go to the host countries and the costs mainly stay with the transit countries," Stournaras said, estimating a 0.3 to 0.4 percent of GDP as the direct cost.

[Reuters]