Top Greek Financial Analyst: “It’s not a patriotic duty to risk my bank deposits”

One of Greece’s best known free-market economists didn’t mince her words recently in London, saying she’s pulled her bank deposits from Greek banks, while charging that the leftist SYRIZA government merely aims at “wealth redistribution” instead of creating more wealth.

Miranda Xafa, a past Greek representative to the IMF and adviser to a previous conservative government in the early 1990s, told an audience at a London School of Economics event that “the government talks about a redistribution of wealth, instead of creating wealth … it (government) wants to offer social subsidies with other people’s money… it may claim it wants more time, but in reality, it’s asking for more money”.

The noted financial analyst was also blunt in how she manages her own finances.

“I do not consider it a patriotic duty to risk my bank deposits, at the very moment when there is no plan for a national recovery. Quite the opposite, pressed by the lack of liquidity, the (Greek) government will be forced to admit that it was elected with inapplicable promises,” she underlined.

Xafa, who now heads a consulting firm, also emphasized that no one chooses a policy of austerity, rather, the latter is implemented in exchange for the disbursement of financial assistance.

She added that Greece’s problem was not austerity, per se, nor was it the high external debt, which she noted was characterized by low loan servicing costs, rather it was the country’s small foreign exports capability and its low competitiveness.

She spoke at an event sponsored by the Hellenic Observatory, a member of the European Institute at the LSE.