From The Financial Times, August 26, 2019
Greece will fully lift capital controls on September 1, ending four years of restrictions on transfers abroad by companies and individuals, finance minister Christos Staikouras told parliament on Monday. The move, which was proposed last month by the country’s central bank, was agreed with the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the European Central Bank’s banking supervisory agency, Mr Staikouras said. “Restoring free movement of capital will contribute significantly to strengthening confidence [in Greece] and attracting investments . . . and will lead to further upgrades of the country’s credit rating,” he said. Greece imposed capital controls in mid-2015 following a bank run triggered by fears the country was headed for a disorderly exit from the euro. The ECB took a decision to stop providing emergency funding to Greek banks amid a worsening dispute over bailout terms between the leftwing Syriza government and its international creditors. While controls were gradually eased, Greek companies still need special permission from the central bank to transfer more than €100,000 per day. Individual transfers are restricted to €4,000 every two months. The new centre-right government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister, which took over last month, made lifting capital controls a priority as it tries to accelerate economic growth led by domestic and foreign investment.