Greece's budget proposals are not enough to ensure a surplus this year, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist was quoted as saying on Monday. Greece was supposed to have a 3 percent budget surplus in 2015, but that looks unrealistic now, Olivier Blanchard told the French financial newspaper Les Echos in an interview. "Considering that the most recent estimates mention a substantial budget deficit, we need credible measures to transform this into a surplus and maintain this surplus in the future," Blanchard was quoted as saying.
The Greek government named former banker George Michelis as chairman of the country's bank rescue fund on Monday, which has been without a head since the resignation of both its chairman and chief executive earlier this year. The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), financed by the country's bailout package, is the rescue vehicle that recapitalized Greece's big banks and covered the costs of winding down others deemed non-viable. Michelis has held a series of posts in the banking industry, including CEO at Bancpost, a Romanian subsidiary of Eurobank, and chief operating officer at Egnatia Bank, where he was a founding member.