Stournaras to Reuters: Reducing Greece’s debt vital for growth

Gradual easing of capital controls tied to debt question, he says

The governor of the Bank of Greece, Yiannis Stournaras, told Reuters in an interview today that there would be a gradual easing of capital controls, but that full liberalization would depend on progress with respect to Greece’s debt relief, which is also a precondition for entering the ECB’s asset buying scheme.

”We gradually lift capital controls and the next step will take place soon,” Stournaras said. “The full lifting of capital controls is the end of the road. To get there, we need the finishing off of the second (bailout program) evaluation, discussion on debt measures and quantitative easing inclusion. Above everything else, it depends on how quickly full confidence returns.”
Stournaras expects a quick conclusion to the second bailout review by the government, paving the way for
negotiations concerning the debt as soon as December — and ultimately for inclusion into the quantitative easing
(QE) asset buying scheme. “QE depends on debt being sustainable.” he explained. “The ECB needs to have
something concrete on debt measures before it performs its own debt sustainability analysis.” He emphasized that
Greece’s recovery will only be possible if its debt burden is eased.
Greece is anxious to regain access to the global markets from which it has been cut off since 2014 before its current 86 billion euro bailout program expires in 2018.