NEWS

Dragasakis warns against 'political games' after bank share sell-off

TAGS: Banking, Politics

The fundamentals of the Greek banking system do not justify the plunge of the sector’s index in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis said on Thursday and warned against playing “political games” with the market.

“The stock exchange is governed by many factors. Whatever the problem is, there is a solution,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Greek radio station Sto Kokkino.

Dragasakis said recent stress tests led by the European Central Bank showed Greek lenders are adequately capitalized, but even if they need more funding, there are solutions.

“But don’t play political games with the banks, it’s criminal,” he added and criticised New Democracy for what he described as its “completely irresponsible” stance.

He also announced a meeting next week with bankers to discuss the issue of bank lending.

On Wednesday, the banking index plunged more than 17 percent in intraday trading to end 8.78 percent lower.

It led Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to convene an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon with leading government officials. After the meeting, a press release by Tsipras' office attributed the fall to “speculative pressures.”

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