Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras visited Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday to brief him on discussions at the meeting of the European Central Bank’s governing council in Nicosia and on decisions relating to Greece taken there.
In comments after the meeting, Stournaras said it was “crucial” that Monday’s Eurogroup meeting in Brussels is successful. He added that Greek banks faced no danger and were “fully protected and capitalized.”
Also present at Friday’s meeting at the Maximos Mansion was Deputy Premier Yiannis Dragasakis and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. In comments on Thursday night, following the ECB’s decisions to hold a tough line on Greece, Dragasakis called on Greece’s international creditors to honor the February 20 Eurogroup agreement. “We achieved an agreement which is not being fully reflected in the reactions of the European Central Bank,” Dragasakis told ANT1 television channel. The deputy premier noted that the message that had been sent by the ECB was for an agreement to be reached, which was the case. He acknowledged that there were some positive messages from ECB Governor Mario Draghi too and emphasized that Greek banks will have no problem.
The ECB’s board decided on Thursday in Nicosia to increase the limit of the cash lent to Greek banks through the Bank of Greece’s emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) mechanism by 500 million euros. However Draghi made it clear that the ECB is not yet ready to consent to a rise in the ceiling of the funds that banks invest in Greek treasury bills or to accept Greek state bonds as collateral for cash.