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Parliamentary Committee concludes investigation on bank loans to political parties and media

After nine months of intense debate and impressive revelations, the Parliamentary Committee investigating the legality of bank loans to political parties and media concluded its works. With the exception of New Democracy, the majority of intraparty members voted in favor of sending the findings to Supreme Court prosecutor in order to investigate cases where offenses have been committed.

12 MPs from SYRIZA and Independent Greeks voted in favor

8 MPs from ND, Democratic Coalition (PASOK), KKE, Golden Dawn voted against

2 MPs from To Potami, Centrists’ Union voted “present”

More than 30 witnesses from media outlets and banks appeared before the committee. Twenty six sessions left behind 17,000 pages of material in addition to 100,000 pages containing data from the banks.

The finding text of 962 pages is to be debated in the Plenary of the Greek Parliament on February 1st 2017.

According to a governmental non-paper  investigation showed that:

Banks gave without guarantees loans to PASOK, New Democracy and media that supported the policies and interests of the political parties.

The same media supported the practicing policies contributing to the hegemony of the two big parties (PASOK, ND) that ruled over the years.

  • Certain banks administrations gave loans to political parties in order to produce policies in favor of big economic interests.
  • There are criminal responsibilities for political persons, bank executives and senior managers of big publishing groups.
  • So far no criminal responsibilities came up for government ministers. However, prosecutors may decide when they will investigate.
  • There are political responsibilities, but they don’t result in criminal offenses for politicians that should be investigated by Justice.

According to the non-paper, both former ruling parties owe to banks a total of 420 million euros. The loans of New Democracy amount 221 million euros, those of PASOK 199 million euros.

The non-paper makes also reference to loans obtained by Lambrakis media group (DOL) and publisher Stavors Psycharis as well as to Proto Thema – Here is to note that Democratic Coalition and To Potami accused SYRIZA of having modified the findings about the loans to ProtoThema..

Political Confrontation

As usual, the findings triggered a confrontation between SYRIZA and main opposition party ND.

The government attacked ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for bank loans his local newspaper “Kyrikas Chaniwn” has taken.

On its part, ND attacked SYRIZA over loans to party newspaper Avgi as wells as the ownership of the newspaper. In addition, ND makes reference to an off-shore company among the stakeholders of Avgi.

The findings of ND consists of a 100-page text.

Democratic Coalition (PASOK) actually criticized the conclusion of the Parliamentary Committee works saying more witnesses should have been invited to give testimonies.

In its 4-page findings communist party KKE speaks of “political responsibility for the loans of PASOK and ND,” of “preferential loans given by the banks to media groups” and of “a timeless phenomenon of interlacing private capital with government funding.”

KKE described as “completely unfounded  the so-called Kaloudis’ finding that was refering to loans taken by KKE from the National Bank in 2013.

KKE lists the bank loans to political parties: Total 418 million euros. National Bank  €33.6 ml, Piraues Bank incl ATE € 359 ml, Eurobank: €13 ml., Alpha Bank €12.2 ml.

  •  ND owes €210 ml. Euro (of which 196 mil. euros to Piraeus Bank (ATE) have been denounced).PASOK owes 190 million euros (of  which 158 mil. euros to Piraeus Bank (ATE), been denounced)SYRIZA 8 million euros to National Bank – served.

    KKE 8.3 million euros to National Bank and Attica Bank – served

The issue is not over yet.

The Parliament Committee Finding is here in Greek(in PDF) – all 962 pages.

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