Greece’s influential central banker, Yannis Stournaras, was quoted on Sunday as saying that if the International Monetary Fund wants to leave the Greek program, “it should leave.” Stournaras message fueled speculation ahead of negotiations aimed to conclude the third review of the ongoing bailout.
“If it (IMF) wants to leave, then it should leave … we don’t need them,” governor of the Bank of Greece (BoG) Yannis Stournaras was quoted as saying by the Athens weekly “To Vima“.
Stournaras’ high-profile statement was carried a day before the Euro Working Group will convene on Monday, a session that is expected to start the negotiations on the third review of the Greek program. At the same time, the release of the 800-million euros tranche approved at the conclusion of the second review beginning of summer is still due.
Stournaras’ message to the IMF targets primarily the plans of Poul Thomsen, in charge of the Fund’s European program.
“Stournaras knows first hand that Thomsen is planning to open again the banking sector issue in the new assessment asking for a re-check and risk assessment for the entire portfolio of the loans of the four systemic Greek banks,” To Vima notes adding that this was done at the end of 2015 with the aim to define the capital needs of the banks.
Banking sector sources told To Vima that if Thomsen insists on such plans, this will have a serious impact to the attempt to normalize the Greek economy.
Thomsen’s plans will:
- deteriorate the atmosphere of stabilization that has set in.
- halt the inflow of bank deposits that started to take place in the summer months
- create additional barriers to banks efforts to enhance liquidity in the market via loans
- halt banks from moving towards the markets
- give again a negative signal not only in Greece but also the the European Banking system that ‘something is happening here.”
Moreover, everybody thinks that the role of the IMF in Greece is “counterproductive” unless the Fund is seeking to create an alibi to leave the Greek program.
The same sources pointed out to To Vima, that also the European Central Bank overseeing the capital flow of eurozone banks,disagrees with the attitude of the IMF.
In addition of the banks issues, the Fund is expected to raise again the surplus issue and doubt that Greece can achieve a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP in 2018.