OPINION

Barking up the wrong tree

For some time now, the country’s banks have been a popular target of politically motivated attacks. The truth is that in the age of the fat cats, Greek banks made just as many mistakes as their disgraced counterparts in the United States and other parts of Europe, operating without compunction and with no consideration for safeguarding the Greek economy in the future. Nevertheless, the portfolios of Greek banks never really had much exposure to toxic bonds, at least not to the extent that their foreign peers did. Moreover, the country’s banks also did much to establish a Greek presence in the Balkans and in helping domestic business interests expand there. Today they are paying for the state’s fiscal unreliability and the fact that the government bonds they have in their possession are nearly toxic. The banking system certainly needs to be purged of those who funded businesses through networks of cronyism, but we should remember that without strong banks we have no hope of growth, nor do we have any hope of Greek businesses being able to continue their operations in the broader Balkan region.