The European Central Bank on Thursday boosted the amount of emergency assistance that can be provided to Greek banks by 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion), according to German news reports. That lifts the total amount of funding Greek banks can access through a program known as emergency liquidity assistance, or ELA, to 65 billion euros, reports said. An ECB spokeswoman offered no comment on the reports. In a decision that took effect Wednesday, the ECB earlier this month said it would no longer accept junk-rated Greek government debt as collateral from Greek banks in return for cheap ECB funding loans, but said the banks could continue to tap funding via ELA, which is administered by the Greek central bank. Halting the ability of Greek banks to tap ELA could potentially create a funding crisis for the country's banking sector, analysts have warned.
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