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Clouds thicken over Varoufakis

14 January 2016 / 15:01:33  GRReporter
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Months after the stressful summer of 2015 for Greece, governor of the Bank of Greece Yiannis Stournaras confirmed the existence of a plan to introduce a parallel currency in the country.

In an interview with the Stories broadcast on Skai TV, the top banker said he had contacted former prime ministers and other representatives of public life in the country to draw up a plan for protection. It would have been triggered in the event that the first government of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks had introduced IOUs (informal documents for financial liabilities that will be redeemed at a later stage) as parallel means of payment in Greece.

Stournaras’ words apparently have caused confusion in the government but it has made no official statement. According to the Greek media, SYRIZA representatives informally indicate that the people who worked for the implementation of these plans are no longer part of the party and the government.

The disclosures of the top banker that he had discussed the issues including with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and that he had been informed of the invasion in the Greek mint provoked sharp reactions from National Unity party leader Panagiotis Lafazanis and former chairwoman of parliament Zoe Konstantopoulou. Lafazanis, who was Minister of Energy in the first government of the radical left before disaffiliating from SYRIZA, defined the information as "dirty insinuations." He added that "they were disseminated by Alexis Tsipras and the closed circle around him with the assistance of systemic media to discredit me."

Former Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis also reacted but responded with questions to Yiannis Stournaras, without commenting on the plan to introduce a parallel currency. In his message, he asked why he had not been informed of the plan to invade the mint, challenging the governor of the Bank of Greece to state in public whether he considers that the plans had been drawn up by the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and/or other members of the economic team.

The confirmation, by the banker, of the fact that Greece really was very close to Grexit has provoked reactions among the Greeks, many of whom comment on the passivity of the prosecution with astonishment. They state that it is inconceivable for the man who occupies the post of governor of the Bank of Greece to say that he had taken measures to build a "wall" to protect the country and its currency from an attempted invasion in the mint and the introduction of a parallel currency and for no prosecutor to be upset at this.

According to others, Stournaras simply confirmed "what half of Greece already knew and the other half guessed. The question is what has so far caused the silence of the entire Greek and European political system, the mainstream media and the elites regarding the actual events."

It is worth noting that shortly before the second round of the internal party elections in New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis had declared that if elected party leader he would trigger all procedures to make Varoufakis explain the imposition of capital controls in June 2015. In an interview with the newspaper Proto thema, Mitsotakis had indicated that he would demand that an inquiry commission be established in parliament to investigate who was responsible for the immense damage that was caused to the Greek banking system by the first government of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks.



Tags: PoliticsGovernor of the Bank of GreeceYiannis StournarasPlan to introduce a parallel currencyInvasion in the mintYanis Varoufakis
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