January 22, 1953

NATIONAL-ATHENS BANK MERGER: The first political battle in the new Parliament took place last night (January 20) over the merger of the two banks (National and Bank of Athens). Although at every stage there was propriety and objectivity, the intensity of feeling on both sides was unusual in the annals of parliamentary history. During the debate, led by the minister for coordination, Mr Spyros Markezinis, and the leader of the Democratic Socialist Party, Mr George Papandreou, the old school of parliamentary politics, represented by Papandreou, was pitted against the new school of Markezinis. (…) What made the greatest impression was the government’s unbending determination to go ahead with this most radical program, despite the opposition, and to relieve the burden on the people. FIELD MARSHAL THREATENS BANK STAFF: Yesterday evening (January 21), Field Marshal Alexander Papagos addressed the following message to striking staff members of the Bank of Greece: «I call on all striking staff of the National Bank of Greece to come to work tomorrow. The continuation of the strike serves no purpose but is an act against the government’s policy and the interests of all. Those who do not return to work tomorrow will be considered to be undermining the economic life of the country and will be dealt with accordingly.»

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