Greece's central banker protests, says minister is meddling

Posted at 10:04 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 10:04:56-05

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's central bank chief has asked Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to intervene after a cabinet minister phoned him to tell him how to do his job and then allegedly leaked the conversation to the press.

In a statement Tuesday, bank chief Yiannis Stournaras deplored the deputy minister's "unheard-of" attempt to influence the central bank, and urged Tsipras to protect the central bank's independence.

The Bank of Greece governor — a finance minister in Greece's former conservative government — has a testy relationship with Tsipras' left-wing administration, and is frequently targeted by pro-government media.

On Monday, Deputy Health Minister Pavlos Polakis announced on social media that he phoned Stournaras over an investigation into a bank loan that Polakis had received. He said he urged Stournaras to also investigate loans allegedly taken out by opposition politicians.