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Papandreou accused a publisher of exercising media pressure

05 January 2012 / 16:01:24  GRReporter
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Having made the strange offer to stay in the leadership post of PASOK until the elections are held, but with another candidate for prime minister, George Papandreou "lit" a new fire with his self-criticism that his government has not effectively dealt with "interests". Thus this is not the first time he announces that his government has become a victim of media attacks, because it did not succumb to the pressure of their owners.

According to the party spokesman Panos Beglitis during the meeting of the Political Council of PASOK George Papandreou said that "we did not pay due attention to the causes and we were not constant in our collision with one unproductive clientelist system that "feeds" from the state and is responsible for the crisis in the country. We had to name the interests from the very beginning". He referred to the director of the media group "Lambrakis" Stavros Psiharis, who requested a loan to the amount of 10 million euro from the National Bank of Greece. "The matter came to me. And this shouldn’t have happened, because these issues should be resolved on the basis of the criteria set by the bank. When I realized that they were not fulfilled, I ordered that the loan should not be granted", said the recent Greek Prime Minister.

He described the time of rejection of the application for this loan as the beginning of the conflict with the media group, which is managed by Stavros Psiharis and which publishes two of the largest Greek daily newspapers "To Vima" and "Ta Nea". George Papandreou also referred to the unsuccessful attempt for the merger of the National Bank of Greece with Alpha Bank, which had been "sabotaged", but without going into details.

Also under attack came the judicial system and the investigation regarding the publications that his brother Nikos Papandreou has purchased CDS on Greek government bonds, which will provide him major benefits in the event of a bankruptcy. "The judicial system had to decide immediately and not to delay this and keep the prime minister of the country responsible and keep him as a prisoner", said George Papandreou.

The director of the media group "Lambrakis" took the glove tossed at him immediately after the information from the meeting leaked out. Stavros Psiharis confirmed that the company has requested a loan from the National Bank of Greece, "of which the media group has been a client for 90 years. The official response of the bank was "no." Unofficially, we were told that the loan had not been approved by the office of the Prime Minister. "

The publisher, however did not finish with only this. He urged "the resigning president of PASOK to say under what conditions our last meeting in the Council of Ministers was held and why were we asked to go out through the back door of the building. And who asked who for something".

There was no answer from the recently very talkative George Papandreou. Instead, late last night the party spokesman and former Minister of Defense Panos Beglitis made an attempt to "amend" the statements that had been made a little earlier. After the end of the meeting, shortly before midnight, he said that the National Bank of Greece had refused to grant the loan to the media group "Lambrakis" because it had not fulfilled the legal terms and conditions, "with no political instructions or interference on the part of the Prime Minister or of the political leadership of the Ministry of Finance. When the Prime Minister found out that the publications issued by the specific media group were negatively disposed to the negotiations between the National Bank and Alpha bank, he asked for an explanation from the Ministry of Finance and from the National Bank about why such a positive initiative is met so negatively. Then he learned that there had been a request for a loan that had been rejected for purely banking reasons. The Prime Minister supported the independent decision of the National Bank and the autonomy of the banking system from the political system and from the government. This is very indicative that the era of the relations and the influence of the political system over the banking system is now gone forever with the office of George Papandreou."

Regarding the meeting of the Prime Minister at the time with Stavros Psiharis, Panos Beglitis said that the publishers entered the premises of the Council of Ministers through the entrance, which is used by all visitors, except the ministers. "The meeting took place in the presence of the spokesman of the cabinet Ilias Mosialos and the other publishers. The Prime Minister called for objective informing of the public and composure in their coverage of events, considering the extremely difficult situation and the economic crisis".

When asked about the differences in his statements regarding the loan of the media group "Lambrakis" and the announcement of the failure in the merger of the two banks, Panos Beglitis said that both times he said the same thing, and that "the sequence of events doesn’t matter but what’s important is their nature".

And while the Greek society is struck dumb seeing how it is possible for an entire government system to address it with the familiar rhetoric of ethics and transparency, when it itself publicly acknowledges that it has "circumvented" some of their basic principles, the National Bank is silent. The king may, or may not be, naked. But surely silence is golden.

Tags: politics George Papandreou media group Lambrakis Stavros Psiharis National Bank of Greece
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