Anxious Customers Yanking Billions from Beleaguered Greek Banks


Photo: Eurokinissi, File

ATHENS - With more political and economic uncertainty after the government’s failure to get a debt relief plan from European creditors, Greek banks are seeing a continued outflow of deposits even with capital controls in place.

Customers withdrew 2.4 billion euros ($2.67 billion) more than they deposited in the first four months of 2017, even more the latest debacle for the coalition government led by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

The economy, propped up by 326 billion euros ($363.1 billion) in three bailouts since 2010, continued to shrink for and eighth straight year and as bad loans continued to pile up with Greeks buried under big pay and pension cuts, tax hikes, and worker firings can’t afford to pay back what they owe.

The sum of Greek deposits reached almost 118.9 billion euros ($132.43 billion at the end of last month, down from about 121.4 billion ($135.21 billion) at the end of 2016 and the situation is getting worse.

Bank of Greece data show a fresh 313.3-million-euro ($349.06 billion) drop in deposits from end-March to end-April, Kathimerini said, the result of the 665.3-million-euro ($741.1 million) drop in corporate deposits. Savings accounts are at 2001 levels when Greece was still using the drachma.