|Thursday, 21 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-11-18
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 EU to Approve Greek Liquidity PlanThe European Commission is working on the last details of the support plan the Greek government masterminded to address the repercussions of the financial crisis on the banking sector. A Commission spokesman said that it would be most likely to be approved. The European Commission has already given thumbs up for 18 national support plan of the EU nations. In the meantime, the parliamentary debate on the draft-bill on the bank support plan kicked off on Tuesday. The Socialist party (PASOK) reiterated it would vote against the draft-bill, dismissing it as a patchwork. "The government is addressing the global financial crisis with programme, system and specific measures, while others are scaremongering, resorting to third-world proposals, like PASOK's call for a ceiling and cuts and increases in interest rates," underlined government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros.
PASOK deputy and section head for economy Louka Katseli blasted the government for slow response to the crisis, as well as for pushing forth provisions to the benefit of the banks instead of the real economy. Katseli underlined PASOK's objection to the draft-bill, counter-proposing supporting the banking system through the Refinancing Fund of banks with a view to restoring market liquidity, boosting real economies, as well as the small and medium-sized enterprises in need.
Both Development Minister Christos Folias and the Ministry's secretary general Giannis Oikonomou voiced their intention to fine the banks that had not yet removed abusive terms from their contacts with consumers. Asked on the banks' compliance with the law when it comes to abusive terms, the Minister commented, "We step in where we have to."
The Ministry's secretary general, Giannis Oikonomou, said that Eurobank had not yet responded to the Ministry's call for the abolishment of abusive terms, further adding that the Ministry would give the bank until the end of the week to reply, stressing that if it failed to comply with the law, it would be fined.
At the same time, the general secretary of the Hellenic Bank Association, Christos Gortsos, estimated that the freezing of loan interests could not be generalized, for it would send borrowing rates high.
Banks could only step up such a measure provided that the state guaranteed those loans, claimed Gortsos. He further added that the capital cost had significantly risen over the last year, thus not allowing banks to cut interest rates.
Panagiotis Agniadis, representative of the Union of Hellenic Chambers of Commerce and Industry claimed that businesses were being force to petition for bankruptcy, due to the credit stagnation and the low market demand. He even dismissed the profits of the banks as provocative.
News item: 15686