[Marxism] Greek Bank to Wipe Out Poorest Customers’ Debt

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 01:18:43 MDT 2015

One of the Biggest Greek Banks Decides to Wipe Out Poorest Customers’ Debt
Sputnik news (Russian government), April 25

One of Greece’s largest banks will wipe away the debts and freeze the
mortgages of clients who owe up to 20,000 euros ($21,600) in a move
designed to ease the burden on its crisis-hit customers.

The Bank of Piraeus, one of the country’s four major banks, decided to
write off or restructure debts in response to the "humanitarian
crisis" through which its poorest clients were living, the company
said in a statement.

Any clients who carry up to 20,000 euros in credit cards and consumer
loans would have their debt written off completely, the bank said,
while mortgage payments would be frozen and any associated interest

The cut to mortgage loans only applies to interest imposed for as long
as the loan remains frozen, which will apply up to the end of this

To be eligible for the debt relief, clients must meet specific
criteria and already be enrolled in a benefits program recently
launched under Greece's radical left Syriza government, which came to
power in January.

The new social safety net legislation, part of the platform which
helped Syriza ascend to power, was opposed by the European Union,
which pressured lawmakers to drop the measures.

It also includes housing support and subsidized food purchases to aid
those who have fallen into poverty as a result of the EU-IMF austerity
measures imposed on the country, the Economic Times reported.

Earlier on Friday, the EU criticized Greece for what it called the
country’s lack of sufficient progress toward a debt deal between
Athens and its international creditors

Bank sources who spoke to ANSAmed [an Italian news agency] said that
while the move will cost tens of millions of euros, it also will pave
the way for other Greek banks to take similar initiatives. Those
sources added that this is the first case of a mass debt write off
under pressure from the crisis there.

While several bank bosses have left their posts since Syriza came to
power, Piraeus has been a notable exception.

Major Greek bank, Bank of Piraeus, to wipe debts of poorest clients
Economic Times (India), April 24
source:  Agence France Presse

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