In the midst of the dramatic showdown in Brussels between the new Greek government and its European creditors, many Greek depositors—spooked by the prospect of a Greek default or, worse, an exit from the euro zone and a possible return to the drachma—have been pulling euros out of the nation’s banks in record amounts over the last few days.
The Bank of Greece and the European Central Bank won’t report official cash outflows for January until the end of the month. But sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as 25 billion euros (US $28.4 billion) have left Greek banks since the end of December. According to the same sources, an estimated 900 million euros flowed out of Greek banks on Tuesday alone, the day after the talks broke up in Brussels, sparking fears that measures will be taken to stem the outflow. On Thursday, by mid-afternoon, deposits had shrunk by about 680 million euros (US $773 million).
“If outflows reach 1 billion euros, capital controls might need to be imposed,” said Thanasis Koukakis, a financial editor for Estia a conservative daily, and To Vima, an influential Sunday newspaper.
Tensions in the eurozone’s largest economies could pull the region apart next year, as a number of political risks could bubble over, according to Nordea
The latest instalment of the eurozone crisis could be back on the table as early as next year, as political tensions threaten to boil over.
Several potential breaking points in the euro area have been identified by the Nordic bank Nordea, each of which could create new rifts in an already fractured monetary union.
Jan von Gerich, chief strategist for developed markets at the bank, said that “even though many of the risks may seem remote, there are plenty of them”.