Greek finance minister denies plan to seize 30 percent of bank deposits | News | DW | 04.07.2015
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Greek finance minister denies plan to seize 30 percent of bank deposits

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has denied a report in the Financial Times that there is a plan to take 30 percent of bank deposits above 8,000 euros. Opinion polls for Sunday's referendum indicate a close race.

Finance Minister Varoufakis said it was a "malicious rumour," that there were plans for a "haircut" of at least 30 percent on bank deposits above 8,000 euros ($8,891) amid fears the country was heading for financial collapse.

The Financial Times suggested the Greek bail-in would be similar to the one in Cyprus in 2013 when a haircut was imposed on uninsured deposits over 100,000 euros. The paper quoted sources indicating it would be part of an overall restructuring of the bank sector once Greece was back in a bailout program.

But the head of Greece's Bank Association and chair of the National Bank of Greece dismissed the report, calling it "completely baseless." Louka Katseli said in a television interview: "There are no such scenarios at any Greek bank, not even as an exercise on paper."

Bank account holders can currently only withdraw 60 euros a day from bank ATM cash machines in Greece, while banks remain closed for business.

In line with EU banking directives, bank deposits in Greece are guaranteed up to 100,000 euros. But after months of capital flight, there are few accounts left with that amount left in them.

One in four Greek workers is without a job and the economy has shrunk by a quarter since 2009.

Referendum

Four opinion polls published on Friday put the "Yes" vote just ahead with a fifth poll giving the "No" vote a 0.5 percent lead.

Also on Friday, Greece's top administrative court rejected an appeal against the referendum by two Greek citizens. They had argued that the constitution bars plebiscites on fiscal issues and that the question was too complex.

Varoufakis told Britain's Channel 4 News that Syriza would not resign, even if Greece voted in favor of the current deal on offer from creditors in Sunday's referendum: "If a 'yes' wins, as committed democrats we have a duty to the people to make sure that the deal we didn't like, that we don't think is viable, but which nevertheless the deal that the people want, is going to go through parliament," he said.

jm/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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