Greek FinMin attempts to defuse speculation regarding banks’ ‘bad debt’ load

8 February 2019
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Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on Thursday attempted to dampen speculation in Athens regarding prospects and possible measures to reduce the massive load of “bad debt” plaguing systemic banks’ spread sheets.
His comment came after a previous warning, days ago, by Economy Minister and Deputy PM Yannis Dragasakis, who hinted that if the specter of “bad debt” was removed, then a recapitalization could possible involve more taxpayers’ money.

Greece’s four systemic banks have already been recapitalized three times since 2010.

“All sides must show seriousness when talking about the banks. The banks passed ‘crash tests’ and are meeting goals, they’re also taking private interventions to reduce bad debt. Additionally, we know that the Greek government is managing a system of guarantees to reduce bad debt,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run news agency.

His reference to a “system” comes amid reports that the Tsipras government is in the final stages of presenting institutional creditors and banks with successor legal framework for protecting primary residences from lenders, as well as other measures to reduce NPLs.

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