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Bank of Crete: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Following the departure of the Ottoman forces in December 1898, the Cretan government under Eleftherios Venizelos established the Bank of Crete with the assistance of the National Bank of Greece. The bank received the exclusive privilege, for thirty years, of issuing banknotes in the island of Crete. The National Bank of Greece acquired the Bank of Crete in 1919. At its height, the bank operated some 86 branches in all major Greek cities and a representative office in London. A decade or so after the Koskotas Scandal the National Bank of Greece sold the bank to EFG Eurobank in a privatization in 1999.

The Koskotas Scandal

An American businessman, George Koskotas, bought the bank and they both shot to fame, or rather infamy, thanks to the bank's involvement in a major scandal in Greece in the late 1980s.[1]

Specifically in November 1988, a shortfall of US$132 million was discovered in the Bank of Crete some months after bank chairman Koskotas, a Greek-American millionaire entrepreneur under investigation for large-scale financial crime, had fled the country. In the months that followed, alleged connections between Koskotas and the PASOK government, and even with prime minister Andreas Papandreou himself, brought the resignations of several ministers and demands for a vote of no confidence in the government.



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