ATHENS Jan 10 Greece's finance minister on
Friday publicly backed the country's bank bailout fund chief
executive who has been charged in connection with bad loans
issued by defunct state lender Hellenic Postbank.
An opposition party, the right-wing Independent Greeks
party, had demanded Anastasia Sakellariou - a former executive
at the bank - resign after court officials said prosecutors
charged her and 24 others this week over loans issued by the
state lender from 2008 to 2012.
"I fully trust and respect Greece's justice system, but I
also fully trust Mrs Sakellariou, her integrity, her
professional expertise and above all, her work so far," Yannis
Stournaras told reporters on Friday.
Sakellariou was charged with breach of trust, court
The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund - the bank bailout
fund - said in a statement that, in 2012, Sakellariou was a
member of a Hellenic Postbank committee that handled the
restructuring of two loans that are now under investigation by
"The committees conducted these restructurings in line with
common banking practice," HFSF said. Sakellariou has yet to make
any direct comment on the accusations.
Sakellariou was appointed CEO of the HFSF in January 2013
and previously worked as chief risk officer at Hellenic
Postbank, also known as TT, which was wound down last year with
its healthy assets sold to Greek lender Eurobank.
A prosecutor's report showed the bank had losses of about
347 million euros due to the bad loans, court officials said on
Friday. Seven arrest warrants have been issued against
businessmen and former TT officials and police arrested three of
them this week
The HFSF was set up in 2010 to recapitalise Greece's four
big banks and cover the costs of winding down non-viable lenders
as part of an effort to revive the battered banking sector. The
fund pumped about 4.5 billion euros into Hellenic Postbank to
wind down the lender.
Greek prosecutors have stepped up corruption investigations
amid rising public anger against a wealthy elite partly blamed
for the financial crisis.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by