The tripartite coalition government has given away the Agricultural Bank of Greece to its political friends in the banking lobby. The only thing now left for this government to do is send a message of complete capitulation to the Troika. In the course of serving its "right honorable" friends, this government has demonstrated hostility and indifference to the tragedy being experienced by the Greek people and socio-economic collapse of our country. We must say no to the sale of the Agricultural Bank of Greece.
The tripartite coalition goverment has managed to continue in the noble tradition of the new low previously attained by the political system. In a single night, it has given away the Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) to its political friends in the banking lobby through a completely opaque process.
Let us recall that ATE was profitable in 2011 (excluding damages from PSI), but participated in PSI on the basis of false assurances that such damages would be covered by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. ATE holds over 70% of bank loans in the agricultural sector and controls over 40% of income derived from agricultural capital. The bank also has a vast network of branches and extensive know-how, in addition to subsidiaries crucial to the agricultural economy such as Greek Sugar Manufacturing.
It is a great scandal that ATE was split into "desirable" and "undesirable" segments, with property rights in the "desirable" segment being transferred to a private bank with capital adequacy thanks only to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. In other words, a private bank is buying a public bank belonging to us with our money!
Those responsible for the above developments will have to answer to the Greek people. They have eliminated a basic financial tool, the latest to be eliminated along with the Hellenic Post Bank, which enables fundamental control of the public sector. This decision means a loss of control over an institution that could play a central role in the productive reconstruction of our country and in particular for the agricultural economy and communities, which are both in desperate condition.