Press Releases

Statement of the Governor of the Bank of Greece

19/02/2019 - Press Releases

Bank of Greece Governor, Yannis Stournaras, issued the following statement earlier today:

“In the over four years that I have had the honour of serving as Governor of the Bank of Greece, I have, for obvious reasons, refrained from making any statements that could in any way be subject to political exploitation. All the more so since the Bank of Greece, as a member of the Eurosystem, is responsible for supervising part of the Greek financial system. Nonetheless, after yesterday’s unprecedented attempt by a member of the executive to interfere, in an unheard-of manner, with the performance of my duties, I feel obliged to proceed to certain self-evident clarifications, as well as actions.

It is historically unprecedented by European standards for a government minister to record a private telephone conversation and to immediately leak, selectively, falsified parts of such a conversation to a media outlet, friendly to the government, thus seeking to ensure favourable coverage. These actions occurred without my consent and constitute a violation of the Greek Penal Code. The relevant judicial authorities must take action on their own initiative. The preposterous attempt by minister Pavlos Polakis to interfere with how the Administration of the Bank of Greece and I personally perform our duties is a gross institutional transgression. I call upon the Prime Minister and the government to take immediate steps in order to safeguard the independence of the Bank of Greece, as enshrined in European and Greek law.”

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