Divesting State Stakes in Big Banks Bringing Greece 3.5 Billion Euro Bonanza

ATHENS – The sell-off of state interests in five banks by the end of the year is expected to reap 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) for Greece with Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis telling a parliamentary committee it will bring big benefits.

He said the New Democracy government is focused on “saving Greek deposits, as well as Greek businesses and households from a more comprehensive collapse and crisis,” although collection agencies are hounding those who can’t pay their loans.

Many fell into default during a 2010-18 economic crisis in which Greece got 326 billion euros ($353.84 billion) in three international bailouts to stave off collapse, the banks getting 50 billion euros ($54.27 billion) in rescue packages to stay afloat.

The divestment comes after the recovery of the investment grade, the high growth rates and the positive course of most of the main parameters of the economy,” he said, referring to Greece raised to the highest level by most agencies and attracting foreign investors.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said the sales, with other revenues from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) , would total about 53.7 billion euros ($58.29 billion.)

Earlier, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told Reuters that, “We had very significant interest expressed by many investors and that’s why we are aiming at finishing this process by the end of this year,” as Greece has rebounded.https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/economy-rebounds-greece-will-wrap-up-bank-sales-this-year-finance-minister-says-2024-03-20/

The state recently sold its stake in three major banks, raising more than 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion), the latest sale of a 27 percent stake in Piraeus Bank, was oversubscribed eight times as investors jockeyed for position.

Under an agreement with creditors, Greece has until the end of 2025 to complete the sales but decided to move faster. Its remaining 18.4 percent participation in National Bank, the country’s largest lender, and 72 percent in the smaller Attica bank will be sold this year.

“We found that there was no reason to delay, to drag our feet,” said Hatzidakis as the banks have seen deposits return and raking in big profits after selling off bad loans to collection agencies hounding people to repay debts even if they can’t.


ATHENS - Stefanos Kasselakis, leader of the main opposition party, made an appeal from Kalamata for voters to put an end to the fragmentation of the progressive space by strengthening SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘We Have Nothing.’ As Israel Attacks Rafah, Palestinians are Living in Tents and Searching for Food

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The tent camps stretch for more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) along Gaza’s coast, filling the beach and sprawling into empty lots, fields and town streets.

BOGOTA, Colombia  — Colombia’s congress voted on Tuesday to ban bullfights in the South American nation, delivering a serious blow to a centuries old tradition that has inspired famous songs and novels but has become increasingly controversial in the countries where it is still practiced.

NEW YORK — Prosecutors were presenting their bribery case against New Jersey Sen.

NEW YORK — Twice per year, New Yorkers and visitors are treated to a phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun aligns with the Manhattan street grid and sinks below the horizon framed in a canyon of skyscrapers.

BARNSLEY, Ky.  — Devin Johnson’s life was uprooted for a second time when a tornado flattened his home over the Memorial Day weekend — on the same lot in Kentucky where another storm left him homeless in 2021.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.