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Stournaras Named as New Governor of Greece’s Central Bank

Yannis Stournaras, Greece’s former finance minister, will become the next governor of the Bank of Greece, replacing George Provopoulos who presided over the stability of country’s financial system during its debt crisis.

The central bank’s board unanimously approved proposing Stournaras for the role to Greece’s cabinet, which must rubber stamp the appointment, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based institution today. Stournaras will assume the role after Provopoulos’s term ends on June 19, according to the statement.

Stournaras’s new job will entail safeguarding Greece’s financial stability as it continues a recovery from the crisis that erupted in 2009. Greek banks took losses in the country’s sovereign restructuring in 2012 and from a high ratio of loans in arrears as the economy lost about a quarter of its economic output during a six-year recession only forecast to end this year.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras replaced Stournaras, 57, with Gikas Hardouvelis, an academic and former chief economist at Eurobank Ergasias SA, in a overhaul of his cabinet on June 9.

Stournaras, who will also become a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was appointed finance minister in June 2012 as Greece grappled with political turmoil after two elections in six weeks that threatened to push it out of the euro. In April of this year, Stournaras saw the country make a comeback from bond-market exile, selling 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in five-year notes in a sale that was oversubscribed, its first issue in four years.


“I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of Yannis Stournaras as Greek finance minister in these very challenging years,” Olli Rehn, the European Union’s commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs, said yesterday. “Since 2012 he has taken forward the difficult but important reforms set out in the economic adjustment program for Greece.”

Provopoulos, 64, oversaw the resolution of 12 Greek banks since becoming governor in 2008 as euro area exit fears in 2011 and 2012 fueled a steady outflow of deposits. “Not a single euro of depositors’ money was lost in the process” Provopoulos said in an interview in April.

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