PM appeals to lenders to go for plan

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (right) with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic (left) in Athens yesterday after Greece expressed support for Serbia’s efforts to join the European Union. Regarding issues on the domestic front, Karamanlis reminded banks that their participation in the government’s 28-billion-euro rescue plan is optional but warned against lenders going against efforts to boost the economy. The Hellenic Bank Association, which represents 27 lenders in Greece, said on Monday it supports the plan but only state-owned ATEbank has announced it will participate in the program. The plan provides banks with a boost in liquidity and capital but also restricts them on pay, bonuses and dividends.