ATHENS – Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, a former finance minister, said he is “very optimistic” the country won’t be pushed out of the Eurozone despite fears of default on international lenders.
Stournaras is also on the board of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is one of the country’s creditors and has been providing emergency injections of money for Greek banks which have lost more than 30 billion euros ($32.97 billion) in deposits with nervous account holders fearful the country will default.
“Nobody has a mandate to take the country out of the euro… so I am very optimistic that a Grexit will not occur,” Stournaras said during a panel discussion at an event organized by think-tank Chatham House.
He said that showed that 80 percent of Greeks wanted to stay in the Eurozone and 65 percent of those surveyed were willing to make further sacrifices to do so although other polls said they also back the government’s position not to force more austerity on them, continuing the Greek propensity to want it both ways.
When he was finance chief for the previous government, Stournaras pushed big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings demanded by the country’s creditors.