Turkish bank plans massive loan for Greek farmers
EPA PhotoTurkey’s state-run Ziraat Bank, also active in Greece, has suggested loaning conditional credit to Greek farmers, industry workers and businessmen in a project to support the Greek economy, according to a statement sent to Greek officials from Turkey’s embassy in Athens.
Turkey aims for Ziraat Bank, which has affiliates in four cities in Greece, to extend credit to Greek citizens in a time when Greek Banks have limited their credit capacity due to a decrease in government bonds during the ongoing economic crisis. If the Greek government accepts this suggestion, Ziraat Bank will allocate credit worth between 40 and 50 million euros in the first phase. This project will first apply to the pilot area of West Thrace, where the Turkish minority is largely situated. The bank will issue loans to Greek citizens via its two affiliates in the region, Xanthi and Komotini. All Greek farmers, industry workers and businessmen could borrow credit upon meeting required conditions.
The General Manager of Ziraat Bank, Hüseyin Aydın, said the lender was contiuing its routine credit procedures in accordance with banking rules. They would provide special credits to Greek citizens if the Treasury assumed responsibility and refunded Ziraat’s financial loss. The cabinet has the last word on approving the decision, Aydın said, telling that the lender has not received such a demand. Turkey will cooperate with the United Nations Development Program by providing expert services in approving credit, assisting Greek citizens in completing the credit application and providing them with information. Additionally, Turkey could seek a partnership with a Greek bank.