Hardouvelis: Gov't has ensured bank deposits are safe

Hardouvelis: Gov't has ensured bank deposits are safe

The government has guaranteed that bank accounts are safe and legislated deposit safeguards in the event of a shakeup ahead of Monday's parliamentary election for Greek president, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said in an interview on Sunday's Vima.

Hardouvelis was speaking ahead of the third and last attempt by this Parliament to elect a Greek president that will held on Monday, December 29. Failure to elect one

"We are preparing to withstand any rolling and pitching. We have already passed laws safeguarding bank deposits, and are in constant touch with our EU fellow-members, while the whole government will be on alert and vigilant," Hardouvelis said.

Hardouvelis said that Greece must continue "to the next stage, which will be based on our growth plan, under our own initiative, without coercion by the troika of Greece's lenders."

Speaking of "bank deposits, which are safe," he said his ministry had "taken care this past week and legislated the option of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund's to lend money to the Hellenic Deposit and Investment Guarantee Fund if it needs greater reserves than those available to support depositors."

Asked whether he thought that a new government might be elected with a stance hostile to the memorandum, the finance minister replied, "The key to avoid tossing and turning and our economy's future in 2015 and later is held by the European Central Bank... This key can easily and abruptly be used to block funding to banks and therefore strangle the Greek economy in no time at all."

[Greek parliament is facing its third and last round to elect a president. So far, the government's candidate, Stavros Dimas, has failed to collect 200 votes (a two-thirds majority) in each of the rounds. If he fails to get 180 votes on Monday (Dec. 29), the country will have to go to national elections.