BoG chief convenes meeting over loan to gov’t official


Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras has called an emergency meeting with officials from Attica Bank to discuss a controversial loan that was issued by the Greek lender to Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis.

The central banker's demand for a meeting came after media reports last week suggested that Polakis had been granted a total of 100,000 euros in personal loans from Attica secured against a house in his native Sfakia in Crete, which already has a 300,000-euro mortgage that has yet to be paid off. 

Responding to criticism on social media in the wake of the revelation, Polakis admitted to having applied for the loans in order to “cope with” family and professional demands after experiencing a significant reduction in earnings as a result of having to give up his job as a surgeon.

The issue has also drawn criticism from the opposition, with conservative New Democracy saying that Attica Bank's management needs to explain why the loans were granted to the government official against a property that is already mortgaged. It also asked for an inquiry into the alternate minister's provenance of wealth declaration (“pothen esches”), a document submitted by public officials, doctors and journalists, among others, listing all of their incomes and assets.

Attica, which is not among Greece's four systemic banks and therefore not under the supervision of the European Central Bank, is under the purview of the Bank of Greece.