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ATHENS Nov 27 All of Greece's major Greek lenders will participate in the government's bank support plan aimed at ensuring the continued flow of credit to the economy, the country's finance minister said on Thursday.
"It was confirmed that all large banks will participate in the plan fully," Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis told reporters after a meeting with major bank CEOs and the central banker.
So far National Bank (NBGr.AT), Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT) and smaller ATEbank AGBr.AT have said they would participate. The government's 28 billion euro scheme provides capital injections via the sale of preferred shares to the state, guarantees on debt issuance and liquidity support.
Alogoskoufis said banks would make use of all three facilities in the liquidity support scheme.
"The implementation of the plan will help the Greek economy to face the impact of the (global) crisis in the best way possible," the minister said.
Central bank chief George Provopoulos expressed optimism that the plan would keep the country's credit expansion pace at 10 percent next year from 18.1 percent currently.
"We will see the positive effects (of the plan) very soon," he told reporters.
Earlier on Thursday, Provopoulos said in a speech to the shipping community that the world economic crisis had exposed the Greek economy's structural weakness and that a "policy mix" to boost competitiveness was needed.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, Writing by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by David Cowell)