A government spokesman in Athens on Monday attempted to downplay resurgent speculation and concerns over "bad debt" burdening Greece's systemic banks, held mainly in the form of non-performing loans (NPLs), and in the wake of statements by top ministers, especially Deputy PM Yannis Dragasakis.
Dimitris Tzanakopoulos referred to "danger-mongering" and attempts at "distortion" by a portion of the media, days after Dragasakis was quoted as saying domestic lenders may require another recapitalization, which "could" require Greek taxpayers to foot the bill. Greece's banks have been recapitalized three times since 2011, while their value today is at roughly 5 percent of the value it was when the Tsipras government assumed power in January 2015.
"All of this (scrutiny) did not begin with certain statements by Mr. Dragasakis. This is all in the sphere of fantasy of certain journalists, who believe they are free to try and destabilize the banking system," the spokesman told a local radio station.
In dealing with the substance of the minister's quip, the spokesman denied that there was a plan for another recapitalization in the works.