GEK Terna chief urges local enterprises to repatriate capital

Giorgos Peristeris, CEO at the GEK Terna Group, has urged Greek enterprises, primarily, as well as individuals, to repatriate capital and savings to Greek banks. The corporate group’s head official made the plea during the presentation of the GEK Terna Group’s first half results.

While commenting on the Greek banking system’s problems, such as the capital controls imposed this summer, and overall lack of liqudity, Peristeris highlighted: “Throughout the crisis, we have continuously chosen to keep the total amount of our deposits at Greek banks. I don’t think many Greek enterprises acted likewise.”

The CEO also stated that the Greek crisis is affecting the GEK Terna Group’s operations abroad, where the company, like other Greek enterprises, does battle to take on projects on unequal terms as Greece currently lacks a strong and stable domestic banking system.

“From the very first moment [of the crisis] we made a difficult but correct decision to actively support Greek banks and the Greek economy, contrary to the trends and advice we were given. We have persisted with this decision of ours throughout the crisis – even during the most extreme stages – have invested over 1.5 billion euros amid the recession, and kept all our money at Greek banks,” Peristeris noted. “We believe that all Greek enterprises ought to have done the same. In any case, even now, Greek companies and individuals must mass-repatriate their funds. Serious Greek entrepreneurship cannot exist without immediate support for the Greek banking system.”

Peristeris added that Greek enterprises would have achieved very little abroad, such as the Balkan region, if they had not received support from Greek banks.

“If there is no immediate support for Greek banks, it will be extremely difficult to maintain the extroverted orientation of Greek firms,” he said.

Besides Greece, the GEK Terna Group, active in fields such as renewable energy, mining, construction, waste management, and real estate, maintains considerable business interests abroad, including in the USA, Poland, and Bulgaria.