Emporiki talks fail, more today

The likely last round of protracted negotiations between Emporiki Bank and staff representatives on solving the bank’s serious problems of unfunded pension liabilities yesterday proved fruitless, while Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is due to meet with the Hellenic Bank Association today to iron out details of legislation the government is preparing on the issue as well as on its financial contribution. Sources said that apart from Emporiki and Agricultural Bank, in which the state has major stakes and for which the legislation is intended, all other major banks, except Eurobank, are playing an active role in the initiative. Eurobank officials argue that the bank has an obligation to shareholders to prevent any indirect state subsidy to the others that would distort competition. They note that no one knows how much the taxpayer will ultimately have to fork out.

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