Greeks must feel safe about their deposits because of the 100,000 guarantee per depositor, while the banking system is strong since non-performing loans have shrunk, deposits have risen by 50 billion euros in the last four years, the banks’ capital adequacy rate is 17.5% and banks are reporting increased profitability, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday.
In comments made to SKAI TV station, Staikouras said these reasons should make Greeks feel safe against international turbulence which could reach the country and stressed that Greek banks and the Greek economy are exposed to any external crisis but the economy has developed antibodies.
He said that the economic growth rate will be higher than expected this year, around 2.3%, while unemployment will fall further. The inflation rate is persistent and it is the big problem for 2023, the FinMin said, predicting it would be around 4.5% this year. Commenting on the possibility of further interest rates rises by the European Central Bank, he said that the government will continue to support society and cushion the impact from higher costs. “The Eurozone urges finance ministers to stop offering horizontal support measures and at the same time the ECB raises interest rates, leading to a vicious cycle,” he noted. Staikouras said that the threat of creating a new wave of non-performing loans was visible and that the government is creating a safety net for citizens.
Speaking to Parliament later on, Staikouras said that a 83.3% of society managed to pay its taxes on time, with the percentage rate among individuals rising to 75% in 2022 from 68% in 2018, a five-year record. The FinMin said that Greece was the only country offering a debt settlement scheme of up to 120 tranches for tax arrears.