While the US the media lashes out at Trump every time he dares to tell the truth that the central bank is a biased, engaged, political member of the decision-making landscape, other “developed” countries are happily willing to demonstrate just how apolitical the central bank truly is. Take Greece, for example, where today the chief prosecutor ordered a raid of the home of the governor of the Greek central bank, Yannis Stournaras and the company office of his wife, Lina.
The searches were part of a probe conducted by the Financial Police in connection to the alleged mismanagement of more than 1 million euros in state funding by the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, KEELPNO. The investigation related to funds that KEELPNO allegedly received through a company owned by Nikolopoulou as well as complaints regarding the disappearance of documents tied to the case.
According to the WSJ, the raid was part of a continuing investigation into business Stournaras’ wife has done with a state entity, officials said, in a probe that may heighten tension between the top bank official and the left-wing government. Lina Nikolopoulou-Stournaras, the wife of central bank Governor Yannis Stournaras and owner of an communications company specializing in the medical sector, is under investigation from Greek authorities for business she has done with the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or Keelpno.
In yet another case of alleged embezzlement, last year Greek authorities charged board members of Keelpno, with misappropriation of funds over contracts they had awarded between 2011 and 2013. Ms. Nikolopoulou-Stournaras has denied any wrong doing in the case. Mr. Stournaras isn’t involved in the business.
Meanwhile, the Greek central bank governor called Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to inform him of the raid and the two men agreed that it won’t affect their work on the country’s banking system, Greek government officials said. In a statement, the company owned by Ms. Nikolopoulo-Stournaras, Mindwork Business Solutions, said it handed over the information authorities asked for and that it operates within the law.
The central banker’s wife did not pull her punches, and in her statement made it clear that the object of the raid was not her, but her husband: “We all understand that the real target is my husband as a means of serving a certain purpose.” Syriza officials refused to comment on the statement.
And confirming without a doubt just how political central bankers truly are, Stournaras, who has was appointed as the country’s central bank governor in June 2014 under the previous conservative government, has sparred with the ruling left-wing Syriza party since it came into power in January last year. Senior members of the party have accused the Greek central bank governor of unfairly using his position to swing public opinion against their economic policies and in favor of the country’s lenders, eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund.
Last summer the country’s previous parliamentary speaker, Zoe Konstantopoulou, demanded Mr. Stournaras testify at a committee investigating bribery allegations against Siemens AG, the German engineering giant, in a public stand off between the two. Mr. Stournaras initially refused to attend, citing his workload, but testified several months later.
Ironcially, a similar blowback against central bankers is taking place in the US and across the western world right now, however any time someone dares to state the truth, they are branded as a tinfoil wearing conspiracy theorist, and desperately ignored. This is better known as the denial phase.
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