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Annual General Meeting

"The Greek economy must return as soon as possible to a positive growth trajectory. The main requirement is to restore confidence, to return to normal liquidity conditions and interest rates, in order to improve the business and investment climate. The breakdown of public confidence in the prospects of the country leads to loss of deposits, less liquidity and an increased cost of money throughout the economy. At the same time, the limitation of the size and administrative burden of the public sector and the fight against distortion, combined with the stimulation of private initiative, will give new momentum to the Greek economy. Of course, this requires no arbitrary interventions that inhibit entrepreneurship and erode the investment climate.
The above were noted by the Chief Executive Officer of Eurobank EFG, Mr. Nicholas Nanopoulos, in a speech at the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting of the Group today (June 25, 2010). Mr. Nanopoulos stressed that "According to our analyses, once the measures of the Memorandum are fully implemented, the conditions will be set, not only to observe the country's commitment to reducing the budget deficit, but even for a positive surprise compared to the original fiscal targets”.
As Mr. Nanopoulos noted, overcoming the crisis is feasible. It requires a series of combined actions and developments.
First, the faithful implementation of the terms of the Memorandum, both as regards fiscal adjustment and in terms of structural changes and reforms that will improve the competitiveness of the Greek economy. 
Second, the restoration of confidence in the stability and prospects of the Greek economy, as well as in the damaged credibility of the country internationally, enabling the Greek government to access international markets anew.

Thirdly, the stimulation of entrepreneurship and the restart of the growth process using a new, modern growth model that will increase employment and prosperity.
Fourth, smooth access of the Greek banking system to international markets at competitive terms, and its further activation to support growth and the prospects of the Greek economy.
Moreover, Eurobank EFG’s CEO stressed that fiscal consolidation and structural changes should be combined with the promotion of a multifaceted growth strategy, suitable to the present conditions. "Since spring 2009, at Eurobank EFG, we have voiced our opinion publicly on the key growth issues of the Greek economy. We spoke timely about the need to establish a new model of sustainable growth, which enhances productivity, competitiveness, and employment. This new growth model should be focused on openness, export orientation and expanding the domestic production base, while improving the quality of production and boosting investments. We must establish an attractive, extroverted economy, oriented towards knowledge and quality, able to exploit its significant growth reserves and create strong comparative advantages, led by a modern and dynamic private business sector."
According to Mr. Nanopoulos, throughout this effort, the banking system can and should serve as a stabilizing factor and a catalyst for support and growth. "Greek banks suffered only secondary effects of the global financial crisis, as they had no involvement with toxic products or high-risk investments, and overcame the difficulties without any particular problems. They enjoy the highest capital adequacy ratios in Europe, while the ratio of loans to deposits, which reflects their liquidity, is healthier than in many countries, including Spain, Portugal and Italy, France and Ireland, where banks are clearly in a worse position than in Greece. In addition, in contrast to the public sector, the private sector presents one of the lowest indebtedness rates in Europe. At the same time, and given that financial stability is one of the three pillars of the Support Mechanism, specific initiatives have been undertaken to further proof our banking system, such as the Financial Stability Fund or actions by the ECB, which offer an effective safety net".

In addition, the Chairman of Eurobank EFG Mr. Xenophon Nikitas stated that: "Today, our economy is tested by diverse alarmist scenarios focusing on the Euro and the possibility that Greece may be unable to meet its obligations. These dangerous and ever-increasing rumours undermine the strenuous and painful efforts for fiscal restructuring. Along with other banks, we promote actions, within and outside Greece, to denote the true dimension of the problems while taking effective steps to allow a successful transition to a promising future. It seems that everyone understood the mistakes of the past, when for decades growth was based on consumption and fugitive eudaemonism. Of course, everyone who has served in administrative posts in banks, shares some degree of responsibility. The crisis however, which has highlighted these problems, and even overstated all that is wrong, has taught us a valuable lesson and we are now confident that we are on track to their resolution”.
Analysing Eurobank EFG’s course in 2009, Mr. Nanopoulos stressed that, as natural, the extremely difficult climate of 2009 affected the results of banking groups, like the Eurobank EFG group. “However, our Group, has shown remarkable resilience, flexibility, and efficiency by shielding its balance sheet, enhancing liquidity, improving pre provision income and effectively managing risk. Thus, we have maintained our momentum and positive performance, achieving satisfactory profitability, and further improving our capital adequacy and liquidity”.
Finally, the Group’s CEO spoke on the priorities of Eurobank EFG for the current year, indicating that they remain attuned to the realities and demands of the times. As he said: “We are intensifying our efforts to further strengthen our capital position, primarily through organic profitability and a more efficient structure of the balance sheet. We remain focused on strengthening our liquidity, further shielding our balance sheet and maintaining high pre provision income. In parallel, we continue our efforts for more effective management of credit and other risks. Cost containment and the further streamlining of our operations, by exploiting economies of scale and scope, remain key priorities”.
The General Meeting approved the election of a new Board of Directors (BoD) and the appointment of two independent non-executive BoD members. Specifically, the General Meeting approved the proposal of the Board for the election of Mr. Efthimios Christodoulou to the position of non-executive Chairman of the Board. Messrs Athanasios I. Martinos and Dimitrios T. Papalexopoulos were elected as new Directors to replace the departing Messrs Lazaros Efraimoglou and Antonios Bibas. The other existing BoD Members were re-elected. The General Meeting also confirmed the appointment of Mr. Dimitrios Georgoutsos as representative of the Greek State.