Capital lift to protect drivers

Three insurance firms which recently showed signs that their finances may not be able to cover customer demands were instructed yesterday to shore up their capital structure by spending more than 8 million euros immediately. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said that Astra, Galaxias and Argonaftiki will each need a capital injection of between 1.5 and 5 million euros each by December 19 if they are to remain in business. The deputy minister’s announcement echoed a decision made on the issue earlier in the day by the industry regulator, the Private Insurance Commission. Last month, Papathanassiou said that the three firms, which provide insurance coverage for more than 240,000 cars in Greece, will have some of their assets confiscated following complaints from drivers that they were dodging their obligations. The Private Insurance Commission is scheduled to meet again on December 20 to reassess the situation concerning the three companies.