January 8-9, 1953

BANK MERGER: The government of Alexandros Papagos, moving ahead decisively with the implementation of its declared intention to reorganize the entire banking system, has decided to merge the two largest banks, the National and the Bank of Athens, as the «National Bank of Athens.» The decision was made in great secrecy at yesterday’s session of the Coordinating Council and the details worked out at a meeting yesterday evening between the ministers for coordination, Mr Spyros Markezinis; foreign affairs, Stefanos Stefanopoulos; and national defense, Panayiotis Kanellopoulos. The governor and deputy governor of the National Bank, Messrs S. Kostopoulos and Klearchos Maneas, submitted their resignations which were accepted by the banks’ General Council today. Mr Costis Iliaskos is to be the governor of the new bank. The closing prices of shares of both banks on the Athens Stock Exchange on January 3 has been set as the basis for the merger. PLOUMBIDIS: By an order yet to be issued, Nikolaos Ploumbidis is to face court martial for violating Law 375, since he has confessed to being the leader of the illegal Communist Party branch that was in charge of espionage. After the ruling is issued, the commissioner will set a trial date, most probably for the first 10 days of February. The penalty for violating Law 375 on espionage is death.

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