Greek bank deposits at decade low

People wait to use an ATM in Greece

Greek bank deposits have fallen to their lowest level in more than 10 years, as concerns persist over the country’s debt burden and possible exit from the euro.

Deposits stood at €139.4bn (£100bn) in April, a 3.9% decline on the previous month, according to the European Central Bank.

The data include all deposits by households and companies in Greece.

Its banks have struggled to hold on to deposits during the debt negotiations.

Greece’s falling reserves have prompted calls for capital controls from some experts and an opposition MP.

However, government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis on Monday rejected the idea.

The Greek government, European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been locked in negotiations for four months over economic reforms the IMF and EU say must be implemented before the latest €7.2bn tranche of the country’s bailout fund is released.

Greece has to make a payment of €1.5bn (£1.09bn) to the IMF on 5 June.

Mr Sakellaridis said that Greece would maintain repayments to its EU-IMF creditors for as long as possible.

Nevertheless, if Greece fails to come to a deal with its eurozone partners there is a real chance it could default on its loans.

That could push the Greek government towards leaving the single currency, otherwise known as “Grexit”.

In an interview with a German newspaper on Thursday, IMF chief Christine Lagarde is quoted as saying that “a Greek exit is a possibility”.

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