Alternate Minister of Health Pavlos Polakis has once again found himself at the centre of controversy, only for a much more serious reason this time.
According to an exclusive report to be published in Sunday’s Proto Thema newspaper, Mr Polakis took out a consumer loan of €100,000 by state-run Attica Bank.
The loan was approved and disbursed (in two tranches of 70,000 and 30,000) in an expedited manner and under extremely favourable terms, as he will have a period of 15 and 9 years, respectively, to pay back the two sums, while providing dubious collateral of his already 3-time mortgaged house in Sfakia, Crete.
Although the transaction is perfectly legal, it raises serious ethical questions regarding the double standards in favour of officials wielding state power. At a time when the Greek private banks and the country’s credit system as a whole is under immense pressure, how is it possible for Mr Polakis to receive preferential treatment and take out such a large consumer loan, when, as pundits in the banking industry point out it is extremely difficult for even the wealthiest private citizens, let alone ordinary citizens, to get such large consumer loans approved.
The matter becomes even more egregious considering that only two days ago the prosecutor laid down formal charges against bankers from a bank for granting dubious loans to clients who failed to cover the guarantees.