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Interview: Greek banking system to emerge stronger after recapitalization: Bank of Greece Governor

By Maria Spiliopoulou (Xinhua)

14:55, November 27, 2012

ATHENS, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Greece's banking system, which has been severely affected by the country's sovereign debt crisis, will emerge stronger at the end of a recapitalization process in spring 2013, Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor George Provopoulos said on Monday.

"At the end of this process, we will have well-capitalized banks that are flexible and robust," he noted in an interview with Xinhua at his office in central Athens.

"The whole banking system will be well restructured, leaner, more efficient, more competitive and more able to start financing the Greek economy again," Provopoulos stressed.

The Greek central bank head's comments come as the euro group meeting continues in Brussels. The group has yet to release the tranche of bailout funds to Athens, around 25 billion euros (40 billion U.S. dollars) of which be used to recapitalize the country's banking sector.

Without funds from European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors, the eurozone is threatened with a chaotic Greek default.

Provopoulos noted that Greek banks became vulnerable after the fiscal crisis erupted in late 2008 and their consequent downgrading by rating agencies and being cut off from international capital markets. Over time, they started losing deposits as well.

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