January 8, 2015 / 7:11 AM / in 4 years

ECB wants new Greek government to quickly reach deal with creditors: paper

ATHENS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank wants Greece’s new government to soon reach an agreement with its European partners to enable the country’s banks to continue to have access to funding, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Thursday.

“The ECB sent clear and stern messages to Athens yesterday through Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras asking for an agreement with European partners soon after the election so that liquidity access to banks can continue,” the paper said.

ECB funding to Greek banks rose 2.3 percent to 44.85 billion euros in November. Banks have reduced their exposure but still depend on ECB funding for liquidity.

Citing the country’s central banker, the paper said the ECB will maintain its funding access to the nation’s lenders as long as Athens remains under a bailout program and continues to meet its obligations.

“As regards the upcoming election, the ECB is not taking any side but wants whatever government emerges to be formed soon and complete negotiations with the (EU/IMF/ECB) troika so that there is agreement on the day after,” Kathimerini said.

The paper said business and household deposits dropped by about 2.5 billion euros in December, according to estimates by bankers who do not see the situation as a cause for concern.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Costas Pitas and Shri Navaratnam

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