ECONOMY

Capital controls set to be fully lifted by end-September

capital-controls-set-to-be-fully-lifted-by-end-september

The Bank of Greece will propose the full elimination of capital controls at the end of September, Kathimerini understands, in a step aimed also at encouraging credit rating upgrades for Greece, with the goal being investment grade.

The government and the central bank agree that conditions now allow for the final step to be taken, more than four years since the restrictions were imposed in June 2015 by Alexis Tsipras’ government.

Sources say preparations for lifting the capital controls have already begun, as consultations with the country’s creditors are required, as well as legislative intervention, with the final decision resting with the government.

The full removal of controls is expected at end-September, after the negotiations with the creditors who will be coming to Athens in mid-September to prepare their fourth post-bailout enhanced surveillance report; this will focus on the 2020 budget preparation, and if the outcome of the talks is positive, it will also favor the full lifting of the capital flow restrictions.

Controls have already eased considerably, as there are no restrictions to cash withdrawals domestically and transactions with entities abroad up to 100,000 euros are also allowed without the approval of the central bank.