Alpha Bank does a backflip and keeps branches on remote islands

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Greece’s Shipping Ministry announced on Tuesday that Alpha Bank has reversed an earlier controversial decision to close its branches and ATMs on the remote islands of Kassos, Lipsi, and Tilos.

The announcement came after a meeting between the Board of Alpha Bank Premier Yiannis Dragasakis and Deputy Shipping and Island Policy Minister Nektarios Santorinios.

According to the Ministry, the residents of the three islands will continue to be served by the existing bank branches on the islands without interruption.

Had the bank proceeded with its original decision earlier this month it would have left the three East Aegean islands without any bank services at all.

The decision has been condemned by several entities, including the Region of North Aegean, which suspended any collaboration with the bank, and the mayors of the North Aegean. The bank was accused of treating residents of those remote islands as second-class citizens.