Mitsotakis announces an end to capital controls

Mitsotakis announces an end to capital controls

In a speech in Parliament, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the full lifting of capital controls, introduced in June 2015 to protect Greek banks amid a political crisis.

Describing the closure of Greek banks in 2015 as "catastrophic," Mitsotakis declared that, "capital controls are from today a thing of the past."

Snap general elections in July that brought his center-right New Democracy to power "have restored faith in Greek economy and banking system," he said, adding that, "at last, a four-year cycle of insecurity comes to an end."

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras was to submit an amendment in Parliament later in the day, lifting the final restrictions. The changes are to come into effect on September 1, he said. 

Earlier in the day, officials of the Finance Ministry had convened with members of the country's banks and the capital markets commission.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras had recommended in July that the final restrictions be lifted after observing a continuing increase in bank deposits.

One of the key aims of the abolition of all restrictions is Greece's upgrading by credit agencies, a move that will boost investor interest in Greece.