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€120bn left Greece’s banks during the years of the crisis

The “dizzying” amount of 120 bullion euro left the Greek banks during the years of the crisis. Moreover, 45 billion euro left the banks during the last year. 80% of this amount, that is some €36 billion are been kept in homes, company safes or in bank lockers.

These revelations have been made by Theodoros Kalantonis, deputy CEO of the Eurobank while addressing the audience of a meeting organized by the Confederation of Greek Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

“About 25 billion euro in deposits can and must return to the banking system within the next two years in order to strengthen the Greek economy,” CEO Kalantonis stressed.

“From the beginning of the crisis, the total amount of the country’s deposits decreased by €120 billion. A staggering amount. During the last year alone, alone, 45 billion euro in banknotes left by banks, while 80% of them, fortunately, remained in the country, in homes, company safes and bank lockers,” Kalantonis said and added that:

“It is obvious that this liquidity (over 25% of the GDP) which is outside the banking system if would return back to the banks, it would act as a catalyst for relaunching the economy.”

He underlined that “the successful recapitalization of banks that has been just completed, will help in this direction since it definitively removes the risk of haircut of deposits,” he added that this was not enough thought and that “it is imperative to
move directly to the next phase of relaxation of capital controls, starting from the full liberalization of the money that returns again to the banking system from the homes and the lockers.”

Nice. Eurobank and Alpha bank have reportedly completed recapitalization with fund by private investors. 5.7 billion euro.

Now the Eurobank wants a share of 25 billion euro “currently in homes, safes and lockers” as CEO Kalantonis knows however apparently without taking into consideration that households and companies withdrew money to meet their obligations as they run out of money due to income decreases and a market that has been obviously “dead.”

CEO Kalantonis and every Greek systemic bank CEO can burst from confidence and look into the future with bright eyes and innocent baby smiles.

And some Greeks could be willing indeed to return their euro banknotes to the banks, if the banks would raise the deposits interests, for example, that are currently at a miserable 0.75%.

But many Greeks, many people from the real life market and every day economy do not share Kalantonis’ optimism. They fear that next year the same ‘crash’ could happen.

CEO Kalantonis and every CEO of a Greek bank should do much more in order to gain the Greeks’ trust.

PS 120 billion euro left the bank in 5.5 years. Hm… Does anyone know how much money in total do 10 million people need to come along from May 2010 to December 2014?

PS 2: cats are cuter than banks

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  1. The European Banks are relying on the wealth of the poor & unemployed to get rich quick off – because the real money left Greece long, long ago.
    A fool & his money are soon parted.

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    His baby smile comes from believing Greeks can recycle money out of their shit.

  3. This is quite an amazing article!

    1) The ‘revelations’ which the Eurobank CEO made, i. e. the deposit flight since 2010, can be checked every month on the website of the Bank of Greece.
    2) Nice to hear that the CEO believes that “if the liquidity which is outside the banking system would return back to the banks, it would act as a catalyst for relaunching the economy.” Well, if that liquidity indeed returned to the banks, all it would do is to reduce the ELA funding of those banks. Full stop.
    3) It is tear-provoking to read that Greeks withdrew 120 BEUR from their savings to pay taxes and for their living expenses. Someone ought to do the numbers and caculate how much GDP growth there would have been and how much tax revenue the government would have had if all that money would have been used for those purposes.
    4) The Bank of Greece has published the use of those 120 BEUR but I can’t find the respective article. Roughly: a large portion went under mattrasses, a much larger portion went offshore and a smaller portion went to living expenses and taxes.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      You have to search through I Ekathimerini and look for Stournaras to find the numbers but the only difference will be that 80% of the money never left Greece and from the 20% lots stayed on Greek banks and just switched to branches abroad; unfortunately the European public ignores these numbers.