Stournaras Blasts Inclusion of his Name in Novartis Case File

Yannis Stournaras (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, FILE)

ATHENS – Greece’s central bank governor Yannis Stournaras condemned the inclusion of his name in the case file relating to the Novartis kickback investigation, calling it part of a continuing attempt since 2014 to oust him as the head of the Bank of Greece (BoG).

In a statement on Thursday, Stournaras said he had already informed the leaders of the European Central Bank “of the absence of any real foundation charges against” him and condemned the attempts to discredit him and his wife, whose files were confiscated by authorities for alleged tax evasion in her business.

The BoG governor said the attacks against him “are a continuation of similar attacks and persecutions I have experienced the last three years that have a single purpose: my dismissal from the leadership of the BoG, an effort that was launched at a meeting held in Kypseli at 2014, as (former finance minister) Yanis Varoufakis has mentioned in his book, without ever being contradicted.”

In terms of his role as finance minister from July 5, 2012 to June 10, 2014, Stournaras said that in reality pharmaceutical expenditure during his tenure dropped by 30.5% (or 880 million euros).