Banks not protected over loans to political parties, says Greek minister

A recent amendment that limits the legal responsibility of bank chairmen, board members and other officials with regard to loans they have approved is not part of an effort to provide immunity to anyone, the government insisted on Friday.

The law was passed through Parliament last month, prompting SYRIZA to accuse the government of trying to protect bank employees who had supplied questionable loans to New Democracy and PASOK.

During a parliamentary debate on Friday, PASOK veteran Apostolos Kaklamanis called the amendment a “scandal.”

Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis (photo) said that bank executives were not being offered blanket protection.

“The approval of loans to parties or other private entities that did not have the bank’s approval or which did not respect the Bank of Greece’s regulatory guidelines will continue to be considered a breach of faith,” he said.

“All those who were responsible for such decisions will have to answer to the law.”

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