November 14, 2012 / 10:14 PM / 5 years ago

Greek banks turning corner, central bank chief tells WSJ

FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos has said that Greek banks are well on their way to recovery and the general economy will then follow.

Greece’s banks have incurred major losses in Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, and austerity measures to try to reduce Greece’s debt mountain have kept the economy in recession since 2008, with a quarter of the workforce now unemployed.

“Greece’s banking system is poised to turn a corner,” Provopoulos wrote in a guest column in the Wall Street Journal, posted on its website on Wednesday.

“As Greek banks turn the page on a very difficult chapter in their history, the broader economy will follow.”

The central bank chief also said that the next step would be to recapitalise Greece’s most important banks.

“Once that process is complete, it will mean stronger, well-capitalised banks, new confidence for depositors, and renewed access to capital markets,” he said.

Provopoulos said he expected that three large, strong banks and a few smaller banks would form the basis of Greece’s banking system. (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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