We are standing at a crucial crossroads for the future of Greece’s lending institutions. History has shown that state-owned banks are vulnerable to partisan interests and objectives. And instead of promoting economic growth, they end up advancing the narrow interests of their cronies.
We must not return to the days when politicians and their parties were free to use state banks in the pursuit of their own ulterior goals. It is important to give responsible Greek investors the opportunity to maintain their presence in key institutions like National Bank of Greece.
Most banks, and their shareholders, suffered heavy losses because the state allowed the economy to collapse – not because of bad bank management. This is why it is crucial that the government, and the political system in general, give healthy capital an opportunity to take part in their rescue.