Attica Bank Accuses Greek Government ‘Protege’ of Blackmailing Tactics

Attica Bank management has accused the Kalogritsas family of using blackmailing tactics in order to get more loans without collateral, according to a SKAI television report.
Specifically, SKAI has produced an Attica Bank letter addressed to Messrs. Christos and Yiannis-Vladimir Kalogritsas, owners of Toxotis construction firm, accusing them of  unacceptable pressures to receive new loans, wasting funds on unrelated businesses ventures, failure to execute projects undertaken, while stating that members of the bank’s management have been threatened.

The Kalogritsas group is a favored state contractor, constructing the majority of public highways. The Kalogritsas firms receive exorbitant loans from Attica Bank without collateral and at low interest, an issue that has been investigated by the Bank of Greece. Yiannis Kalogritsas was also candidate to receive one of the four broadcasting licenses in the failed state-organized tender that was ruled unconstitutional by the Council of State. At the time Kalogritsas has used as guarantee 5,029 acres of grazing land on Ithaca island that a friend had allowed him to use.

“With great surprise we received a letter from you on 24-1-2017, when we knew that today (25-01-2017) there is a scheduled meeting between your company’s management with our CEO to submit the restructuring plan for your group of companies. How does sending a letter help solving such a serious problem when the unacceptable content of the letter pressures the bank to make hasty and manifestly erroneous decisions against the bank’s interests?” the Attica Bank letter says.

The letter further says that the new management of the bank has received loan requests that are disproportionate to the guarantees offered: “We have made it known that you must find other funding sources and cash on your own, because our bank can not exceed the loan limit we set for you, which is 108 million euros… How can you request additional funding from our bank and not from other banks, and even pressure us, when you know that the required amounts exceed the limit of 108 million euros?”

In the letter it is also alleged that the kalogritsas group has made threatening statements against Attica Bank executives: “In what sense do you send threatening and unacceptable messages and letters to our members?”

“If you are not able to carry out the projects that you have undertaken, either seek financing from other banks or third parties, otherwise you will force us to put you under supervision and seek to find other trustworthy entities to complete your projects,” the letter continues.

“But it makes us wonder how you are ready to waste sums of tens of millions of euros in other unrelated businesses and mass media and do not place these funds in your construction group of businesses and make it credit worthy,” the letter says.

“Such behavior, if continued, will force us to ask for the appropriate financial and legal control of your group, so as to reduce any unnecessary costs at the expense of your current obligations and creditors.”

According to the report, Attica Bank officials refused to comment on the letter, noting that the bank’s relationship with the Kalogritsas group is good and its restructuring project is implemented smoothly.