Fearful Greek savers pull money from banks and put it in cars

As was reported a month ago HERE.


Two weeks after Greece’s leftwing Syriza party won power at the election in January, Panayotis Fotiades pulled his deposits from an Athens bank.

“I felt certain there’d be a confrontation before long with the troika [of bailout monitors],” said the 55-year-old .

Like other owners of small and medium-sized companies in Greece, Mr Fotiades feared a radical government would resort to capital controls if relations with the country’s creditors deteriorated sharply.

To protect his savings he bought a brand new Mercedes-Benz car, then took the advice of a financial consultant and invested the remainder in money market funds based in Luxembourg.

“I didn’t want to sit by and see my hard-earned money disappear in a bail-in,” he said, recalling a banking collapse in Cyprus in 2013, in which the government raised almost €8 billion by taxing bank deposits of more than €100,000 after imposing the eurozone’s first capital controls.

Many other Greeks appear to be taking similar precautions. Even as the economy has been sinking, new car registrations have soared this year as worried Greek depositors seek out alternative havens for their money. They rose 27.9 per cent in April on top of a 47.2 per cent increase in March.

Full article: Fearful Greek savers pull money from banks and put it in cars (The Age)

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