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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Piraeus Bank acquires Cypriot banks' networks in Greece
  • [02] SYRIZA, Independent Greeks leaders meet; reactions

  • [01] Piraeus Bank acquires Cypriot banks' networks in Greece

    AMNA -- Piraeus Bank on Friday announced the acquisition of Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank branch networks in Greece. In a statement, the bank said it was selected to acquire the two Cypriot banks' networks and activities in Greece, after submitting an offer on the invitation by the Greek government, the Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund.

    Mihalis Sallas, the bank's chairman, commenting on the agreement said: "We responded to the need to fully protecting depositors of Cypriot banks in Greece, to safeguarding the stability of the Greek banking system and to have a Greek help in Cyprus' plans to exiting the crisis. Today's development is another significant move in the restructuring of the Greek banking system, with Piraeus Bank participating from the very start as a basic pylon, contributing to efforts of reconstructing the Greek economy and its growth prospects within the European framework".

    Piraeus Bank was founded in 1916. For many decades it operated as a private bank before coming under state control in the period 1975-1991. Since its privatization in December 1991 the bank has recorded a great development of activities and figures. The group emerges as a champion in the buying and the absorption of banks in the last 15 years, both in numbers and sizes. Piraeus Bank is the third largest bank in Greece (climbing to second place following the acquisition of the Cypriot banks' networks in Greece), with a market share of 19 pct in deposits and 18 pct in loans. Pro-forma assets totaled 78 billion euros, loans after provisions totaled 44 billion euros and deposits totaled 35 billion euros at the end of September 2012. The Group's workforce totals 18,800 staff, while its branch network totals 1,348 units with presence in 10 countries. It has around 6.0 million clients.

    [02] SYRIZA, Independent Greeks leaders meet; reactions

    AMNA -- Greece's left-wing main opposition party Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party and the right-wing Anexartiti Ellines (Independent Greeks) party agreed on Friday to join forces and set up a "common social and political front to support Cyprus".

    During a meeting between SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras and Ind. Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, requested by Kammenos and held at Tsipras' office in parliament, they agreed on three points of potential cooperation but disagreed over a proposed censure motion against Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, initiated by Kammenos' party.

    The two parties have agreed to demand jointly that Bank of Greece governor George Provopoulos appear in parliament next Tuesday and answer claims made by a Cypriot politician that he had refused Cyprus' request for 2.0 billion euros in financial aid from Greece so that the island republic might avoid the current crisis.

    As part of their "common social and political front" on developments in Cyprus, the two parties will also push for an off-the-agenda debate on the issue among party leaders in parliament. More generally, they intend to exert pressure on the government to allow parliament to properly debate draft legislation and not flout the parliamentary process.

    Both parties were critical of the government's stance toward the legislative process, which they said effectively "abolished parliamentary democracy and violated both the constitution and parliamentary rules".

    Kammenos and Tsipras criticised the Greek government's response to Cyprus' rejection of the Eurogroup bailout plan, saying it had not supported the Cypriot ‘no' but "was in reality supporting [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and the Eurogroup in their suffocating pressure and blackmail of Cyprus".

    While admitting the gaping ideological breach between the two parties, Tsipras said that the present crisis demanded that all people rally behind a "broad front going beyond and outside political parties, a front for the support of the Cypriot people."

    "The Greek people must show that Cyprus is not alone, that the stance of the Greek government does not represent them, and this is the effort we will jointly undertake, so that this front finds expression on a parliamentary level and, chiefly, on a social level," SYRIZA's leader added.

    According to Kammenos, the message that the two parties wish to send to Cypriot Greeks is that "Cyprus is not far away and the Greeks of Cyprus are not alone."

    In a sharply-worded comment on the collaboration, the coalition government's largest party New Democracy issued a press release saying that Tsipras "had finally been received by the only Greek politician capable of so deeply understanding his opinions."

    The PASOK party, one of the two junior members of the ruling coalition, stressed that Tsipras and Kammenos are perhaps the only in Greece who do not realise what the dramatic experience of Cyprus is teaching us.

    PASOK added that the day and the issue they chose to "declare their convergence on will pursue them as an extreme sample of national irresponsibility, political provocation and bad reflexes."

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