An earthquake of the highest magnitude on the political scale shook the echelons of Greece's largest commercial bank - the National Bank of Greece, the management team of which has been completely replaced in a day. Formally, it all started with the resignation of the designated finance minister Vassilis Rapanos, who did not assume office anyway and who was the recent governor of the institution. As we previouysly reported, Rapanos fainted and was hospitalized on the day on which the tripartite coalition designated him finance minister. Although he was discharged on Monday and doctors defined his health as excellent, he resigned yesterday as governor of the National Bank of Greece for health reasons.
According to sources from financial circles, however, it regards a "diplomatic" disease because Rapanos disagreed with the current Prime Minister Antonis Samaras over dismissing the former CEO of the Bank Apostolos Tamvakakis. A few months ago, the name of Tamvakakis was involved in a dispute between the former Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou and Stavros Psiharis, the publisher of one of the largest media empires in the country, Lambrakis. The media boss accused Tamvakakis of refusing to lend to the Lambrakis group at the insistence of then-Prime Minister Papandreou. Then followed a flimsy denial that the National Bank of Greece was independent and it did not seek Papandreou’s advice regarding to whom to lend, which rather confirmed Psiharis’ version instead of refuting it.
The new CEO of the bank Alexandros Tourkolias was Tamvakakis’ deputy, a member of the management board and the head of the management board of the bank branch in Cyprus. He has degrees from the University of Athens, Panteion University and the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. Petros Christodoulos– recent head of the Greek Public Debt Management Agency and a major player in the negotiations with Greece’s private creditors during the PSI procedures – was appointed his deputy.
The bank’s chief economist Haralambos Mazarakis left the management team voluntarily. It is not yet known who will take his post.