Tuesday 17 October 2017

The stakes are sky high if EU calls Greek bluff

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives at a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels. Reuters
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives at a European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels. Reuters
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

Will the EU torpedo Greece? Will the ECB cause the Greek banking system to collapse? Will forcing a Europe-inspired bank run make it any more likely that the Greeks will be able to pay back more debt? What do you think? The short answer is: of course not.

Therefore, to improve the situation the EU authorities must do a deal because the sanction they are proposing will cause yet more money to leave Greece. This is the opposite of what they want. They want money to flow into, not out of, Greece.

Right now, Greek banks are facing the same problem the Irish banks faced in the summer of 2008. They are experiencing what is called a silent bank run. Big deposits are leaving and soon small deposits will leave, unless a deal is done. Why would deposits leave?

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