NEWS

New law to repatriate capital

Taking a leaf out of the Italian government’s book, the Greek government has submitted a law allowing repatriation of capital with no questions asked other than an investigation, mandated by the EU, into whether the repatriated funds might constitute money laundering. Those who repatriate funds within six months of the law’s enactment will pay a 3 percent fee to the banks through which they will repatriate the sums. This will be their sole obligation. The government estimates of the capital that will thus be repatriated range from 5 to 25 billion euros. Government officials said that this will significantly boost liquidity and will have a beneficial effect on the property and retail banking markets. Another legal amendment limits the total amount loan defaulters may pay to banks to three times the amount of the principal. For loans taken before 2000, and whose principal plus interest exceeds 2.2 million euros, there will be no capping. Farmers benefit even more, with their debts capped at two times the principal for loans taken after 2000 and two and a half times for those taken before 1990.