Relations between the Bank of Greece (BoG) and the government were never soured, its governor Yiannis Stournaras told journalists after a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday.
Talks between the two focused on the Greek banking system and developments in the economy and not on his wife’s case, he added. Asked by journalists if there’s a plan to “kick him out of the Bank of Greece”, he said there isn’t one.
On Thursday, a prosecutor raided the offices of Stournaras’ wife, Lina Nikolopoulou-Stournaras, as part of an ongoing investigation into a contract signed between her communications firm and a public health entity.
Asked about his wife’s case, Stournaras said: “My wife, with whom I’ve lived for 40 years … I can assure you she is the most honest, sincere, creative and loving person on this planet. She has been tainted for a long time with this story; she’s defending herself alone, with her capable lawyer, and will continue to do so.”
He also said she has his complete support on this issue and that this cannot cast any shadows on the relation between the government and the Bank of Greece. “My wife has full confidence in Justice and will handle this issue alone.”
Asked whether there’s a report on Attica Bank and the loans it granted, Stournaras said the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the central bank have completed their review and the report, which stretches “over a long period”, will be delivered to the prosecutor.
Commenting on the same meeting, a government source noted that the government and the Bank of Greece are working to ensure the proper functioning of the country’s banking system as the economy starts showing signs of recovery.
“We’re working for the proper functioning of the banking system in a phase when positive signs are starting to show, such as the decrease in non-performing loans, the gradual return of deposits and when there’re clear indications that the economy is recovering,” the source said.
Tsipras stressed to Stournaras the importance placed by the government in the independent role of the governor of the central bank, noting that no shadows should be formed in the institutional cooperation between the two sides, it added.
Commenting on the issue of Stournara’s wife, the source said that Justice is independent and must do its work. “Nobody cannot and is not entitled to intervene in its work,” it said. “As the governor said, there are no shadows in the institutional relation between the government and the Bank of Greece.”