Last of Greece's capital controls will reportedly be abolished in Sept.

Friday, 28 June 2019 12:08
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By E. Sakellari

The abolition of all remaining capital control clauses - the 'legacy' of the first Tsipras' government's shambolic negotiations with creditors between February and June 2015 - is reportedly set for September, a period that will follow whatever result and new government that arises from the July 7 snap election.

The abolition of remaining restrictions, however, is contingent on the approval by the Bank of Greece (BoG), Greece's institutional European creditors, and primarily, the European Central Bank.

This past week witnessed the four-year anniversary of the imposition of capital controls in the EU member-state, a decision taken by the first Tsipras government, which included Yanis Varoufakis as the controversial finance minister. The unprecedented development, for a post-WWII European state, came hours after leftist PM Alexis Tsipras called for a referendum on creditors' offer at the time, aimed at preventing a "bank run" in the country.

Axing the last remaining restrictions on the flow of capital in the country coincides with a scheduled inspection in September by creditors' top auditors, after an earlier visit was scrapped due to the holding of the snap election.

On its part, members of the Tsipras government, ruling SYRIZA party cadres and Varoufakis himself blamed the freezing of the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) credit line extended by the ECB - which at the time stood at 90 billion euros - as effectively forcing their hand to impose capital controls.

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