“There was an excessive deficit procedure methodological visit to Greece in 2008 and at the time Eurostat did not receive information about such transactions.”
Amadeu Altafaj Tardio
The European Commission says it is seeking answers following allegations that Wall Street investment banks helped Greece hide the extent of its debt, the EUobserver writes Monday.
“Eurostat (EU‘s statistics agency) is following these reports, and have already requested an explanation from the Greek authorities by the end of February,” EU economy spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said at a news conference in Brussels.
Over the last decade, Wall Street banks facilitated Greek government efforts to skirt European debt limits, reported the New York Times over the weekend. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from officials in Brussels, the paper alleges.
Goldman executives approached Greece as recently as last November with complicated financial instruments to push debt from the country’s health care system far into the future, it continues, adding that similar arrangements have been struck in the past.
Athens says it did not purse the latest Goldman proposal.
Complicated currency swaps are at the eye of the latest storm. The commission said the swaps are a legitimate government management tool provided “they are calculated from observed market rates.”
“This is something that we will have to assess based on the information we will receive,” Mr Tardio says.
According to the EU spokesman “There was an excessive deficit procedure methodological visit to Greece in 2008 and at the time Eurostat did not receive information about such transaction.”
Related by the Econotwist:
Related articles by Zemanta
- Eurostat to Look Into Greece’s Debt Swaps (online.wsj.com)
- EU Wants Greece to Explain Debt Swaps (abcnews.go.com)
- Greek Finance Minister Begs For Bailout Details, Says Markets Are ‘Attacking’ Greece (huffingtonpost.com)
- Greece Ordered by EU to Uncover Swaps by End of February (businessweek.com)
- Greece Pressed to Take Action on Economic Woes (nytimes.com)
- Financial Crises: Is Goldman Sachs Ubiquitous? (seekingalpha.com)
- Richard (RJ) Eskow: Greeks, Beware of Goldman Bearing Gifts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Greece tells eurozone it needs time: ‘we’re trying to change the course of the Titanic’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Greek Probe Uncovers ‘Long-Term Damage’ From Swaps Agreements (businessweek.com)