Rescue plan must be transparent

The government yesterday announced plans to help secure the Greek banking system from the threat of the global credit crunch. What it did not make clear, however, was the rules governing the manner in which proposals will be handled and decisions made to supply private banks with public money. Both the United States and the countries of Europe have drawn up strict guidelines governing such matters and these guidelines clearly define areas where there may be a conflict of interest. For example, high-ranking officials at the Finance Ministry or the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, should under no circumstances be in possession of a significant stake in any bank, especially if this stake was acquired by way of a loan at privileged terms. What the government needs to make clear right now is that no high-ranking official with a personal interest in a bank should be given a supervisory role, whether they stand to gain something from this or to lose.

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