Loan ideas to be considered

Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis pledged yesterday to examine five proposals by PASOK leader George Papandreou on bank loans and repossessions amid concern that the global credit crisis is beginning to hit Greek homeowners as well. Papandreou put forward suggestions aimed at protecting debtors, such as a rule that would prevent banks from selling a repossessed house for less than its officially set value and an extension of terms for customers who are having difficulty repaying their loans. His proposals came just a few days after the president of Greece’s loan recipients’ federation, Evangelos Kritikos, estimated that there would be more than 150,000 repossessions this year due to mortgage holders defaulting on their loans. Alogoskoufis’s statement that he would look at the suggestions was a rare moment of calm in an otherwise tempestuous parliamentary debate of the government’s economic policy.

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