NEWS

Bank deposits up to 100,000 ‘safe’

The government will guarantee citizens’ bank deposits up to the amount of 100,000 euros for a period of a year, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday following talks with his European counterparts in Luxembourg, who decided that the minimum EU level for guaranteed deposits would be 50,000 euros. Alogoskoufis said that he would soon table the necessary reforms in Greece’s Parliament «to raise the limit from the current 20,000 euros to 100,000 euros.» Officially, EU finance ministers decided that the minimum level of guaranteed deposits, in the event of a bank’s collapse, would be 50,000 euros. Many member states wanted to set the bar higher, at 100,000 euros, but decided not to following protests by new EU members, chiefly from Eastern Europe, who feared that such a move would be an excessive burden on their budgets. «We decided that all member states would guarantee protection of citizens’ bank deposits of up to 50,000 euros for an initial period of a year,» Alogoskoufis said. Greece’s decision to double this figure was taken within the framework of the government’s pledge to ensure that the savings of all Greek citizens are guaranteed, Alogoskoufis said, stressing again that the government’s commitment on this issue was «clear and explicit.» After operating individually in taking emergency action to bail out banks and assure savers, EU governments yesterday pledged to talk daily in the near future and «ensure a comprehensive and coordinated response to the current situation,» the ministers said in a statement released after their talks.