Court blocks release of Greek accounts

EU court throws out freedom of information request relating to credit swaps which allowed the country to increase its debts

The EU’s general court has blocked an attempt to force the European Central Bank to release files showing how Greece used derivatives to hide its debt in the run-up to the financial crisis. The case was brought by Bloomberg News under the EU’s freedom of information rules in August 2010 but was thrown out on Thursday by the court in Luxembourg.

“Disclosure of those documents would have undermined the protection of the public interest so far as concerns the economic policy of the EU and Greece,” the EU’s general court said.

Goldman Sachs and other investment banks have been criticised by European leaders over claims that they helped Greece disguise the true scale of its debts over several years. German chancellor Angela Merkel said in February 2010: “It’s a scandal if it turned out that the same banks that brought us to the brink of the abyss helped to fake the statistics.”

The ECB is headed by a former Goldman banker, Mario Draghi.

The ruling means European taxpayers who are footing the bill for the €240bn Greek bailout will not find out whether EU officials knew of irregularities in Greece’s national accounts before they became public in 2009.

Georg Erber, a specialist in financial market regulation at the German Institute for Economic Research, told Bloomberg: “The courts are bending the rules to legalise the policies of the European institutions and help stabilise the region. It reveals implicitly that the EU was well informed about what was going on and didn’t take steps to avert the crisis.”…..
η συνέχεια: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/29/debt-crisis-eu

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