Greece will not appoint party officials to run banks, says gov’t spokesman

Greece’s new left-wing government will not take any actions that would hurt the share values of the country’s banks and does not plan to appoint party officials at key management posts, the government’s spokesman said on Monday.

“We will not do anything that would hurt the share value of banks,” Gabriel Sakellaridis told Skai TV. “Whatever we do in the banking system will be done in cooperation with private investors.”

“We will not appoint party officials at the management of banks,” Sakellaridis said.

Greece’s bank bailout fund HFSF holds majority stakes in three of the country’s four biggest banks, National Bank, Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank, after their recapitalisation.

The banks’ shares have been battered since the left-wing government won the election because of uncertainty over whether Athens’ standoff with its European partners might lead the European Central Bank to cut the banks’ access to its funding. There has also been speculation the new government would bring in new management at some of the banks.

On Sunday, third-largest lender Eurobank, where the HFSF bailout fund’s holding is 35 percent, made some senior management changes, appointing a new chief executive and board chairman.

The change was prompted by former Chief Executive Christos Megalou’s decision to accept a position at Fairfax Financial Holdings, the Toronto-based fund that holds a 13.6 percent stake in Eurobank.

The decision came after deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis met shareholders on Friday to discuss the bank’s future. Dragasakis said on Sunday the management change had not been done at the prompting of the government.

Sakellaridis said the new government aimed to cooperate with the country’s central bank governor Yannis Stournaras.