Category Archives: New York Times

New York Times:Iceland, Fervent Prosecutor of Bankers, Sees Meager Returns….. Οι ισλανδοί διώκουν ποινικά τους Banksters.. Κανονικά οι Ορφανίδηες Σαρρήες Σιαρλήες Κεραυνοί Σταυράκηδες μπάνκστερ θα έπρεπε να διωχθούν

έγραφα τον μάρτη του 2012 πριν καν το 1,8 ΔΙΣ που πήραν από τις τσέπες μαςγια να το δώκουν στην τοκογλυφική λαική

https://osr55.wordpress.com/2012/03/14

Σύλληψη του Μιχάλη Σαρρή, Μάκη Κεραυνού, Θόδωρου Αριστοδήμου, Τάκη Κληρίδη, Θανάση Ορφανίδη

Δισεκατομύρια οι ζημιές των τοκογλύφων και επιμένουν τα τσιράκια τους ακελδησυένωση βολευτές Παπαγεωργίου και Μαυρίδης να λένε ότι θα πρέπει το κράτος να βοηθήσει τους τοκογλύφους………..

Κρατικοποίηση των ζημιών

αλλά τα κέρδη όλα δικά τους

Αν ισχύουν και ισχύσουν τα όσα λένε οι τοκογλύφοι και οι παρατρεχάμενοι τους βολευτές ακελδησυδηκοεδεκένωση

ότι αν καταρρεύσουν οι τοκογλύφοι θα καταρρεύσει η οικονομία της Κύπρου τότε θα πρέπει άμεσα να συλληφθούν αυτοί που θα έχουν προκαλέσει την οικονομική καταστροφή δηλαδή ο Μιχαλάκης Σαρρής (πρώην υπουργός οικονομικών) ως πρόεδρος της Λαικής που έχει ζημιές 3,3 Δις ο Θόδωρος Αριστοδήμου πρόεδρος της Τράπεζας Κύπρου που έχει 1,1 δις ζημιές Μάκης Κεραυνός (πρώην υπουργός οικονομικών) Τάκης Κληρίδης (πρώην υπουργός οικονομικών) πρόεδρος ελληνικής τράπεζας με ζημιές 100 εκατομυρίων και ο Θανάσης Ορφανίδης ως Διοικητης της Κεντρικής Τράπεζας  αφού με δικές τους ενέργειες και παραλείψεις για ίδιον όφελος θα τα έχουν προκαλέσει

ΝΑ ΜΗΝ ΔΟΘΕΙ ΤΙΠΟΤΑ ΣΤΙΣ ΤΡΑΠΕΖΕΣ/ΤΟΚΟΓΛΥΦΟΥΣ

απτειτ από απάντηση στον στροβολιώτη

Ας δούμε κάποια ομορφούλικα στοιχεία από την wikipedia όπου όμως υπάρχουν με λινκς όλες οι απαραίτητες πηγές για τους κακόπιστους είτε είναι από επίσημα στοιχεία του κράτους είτε από εφημερίδες ή ειδησογραφικά πρακτορεία πχ Bloomberg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932011_Icelandic_financial_crisis#cite_note-56

At the end of the second quarter 2008, Iceland’s external debt was 9.553 trillion Icelandic krónur (€50 billion), more than 80% of which was held by the banking sector.[4] This value compares with Iceland’s 2007 gross domestic product of 1.293 trillion krónur (€8.5 billion).[5] The assets of the three banks taken under the control of the FME totaled 14.437 trillion krónur at the end of the second quarter 2008.[6]

δηλαδή το δημόσιο χρέος της Ισλανδίας ήταν 50 ΔΙΣ ευρωουλάκια και το 80% το κατείχαν οι τοκογλύφοι

That afternoon, there was a telephone conversation between Icelandic Finance Minister Árni Mathiesen and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.[52] That evening, one of the governors of theCentral Bank of IcelandDavíð Oddsson, was interviewed on Icelandic public service broadcaster RÚV and stated that “we [the Icelandic State] do not intend to pay the debts of the banks that have been a little heedless”. He compared the government’s measures to the U.S. intervention at Washington Mutual, and suggested that foreign creditors would “unfortunately only get 5–10–15% of their claims”.

δηλαδή θα πάρουν αγγούρι οι τοκογλύφοι από τα 50 δις

και αφηνίασαν τα τσιράκια των τοκογλύφων δηλαδή η κυβέρνηση του γιουκει της αγγλία και απειλούσαν θεούς και δαίμονες με αντιτρομοκρατικούς νόμους και μαλακίες

The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced that the UK government would launch legal action against Iceland over concerns with compensation for the estimated 300,000 UK savers.[57] Geir Haarde said at a press conference on the following day that the Icelandic government was outraged that the UK government applied provisions of anti-terrorism legislation to it in a move they dubbed an “unfriendly act”.[58] The Chancellor of the Exchequer also said that the UK government would foot the entire bill to compensate UK retail depositors,[53] estimated at £4 billion.[59][60] It is reported that more than £4 billion in Icelandic assets in the UK have been frozen by the UK government.[61] The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) also declared Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, the UK subsidiary of Kaupthing Bank, in default on its obligations,[53] sold Kaupthing Edge, its Internet bank, to ING Direct,[62] and put Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander into administration.[53] Over £2.5 billion of deposits for 160,000 customers were sold to ING Direct.[63] The scale of the run on Kaupthing Edge deposits had been such that many transactions were not completed until 17 October.[64] Although Geir Haarde has described the UK government’s actions over Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander as an “abuse of power”[65] and “unprecedented”,[66] they were the third such actions taken under the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008 in less than ten days, after interventions in Bradford & Bingley and Heritable Bank.

εν τέλει οι τοκογλύφοι πήραν αγγούρι και το imf το ΔΝΤ δηλαδή βλέποντας ότι θα πάρει από τα τρία το μιαλύτερο είπε να συζητήσει με τους όρος της Ισλανδίας σε λογικά πλαίσια

και απλά τους έκαναν ένα δάνειο 2 δις

που εν τα 50 ΔΙΣ τζαι που τα 2 ΔΙΣ ρε φιλούδιν;

Το μπόττομ λαιν που λαλούν τζαι στα εγγλέζικα χωρκά είναι ότι οι ισλανδοί εκαβλιάσαν τους τοκογλύφους τζαι τους ει΄παν να πάτε να γαμηθείτε εν σας πληρώνω τα σπασμένα τα δικά σας
πιάστε τον Π&&*&*()())τσο μου τζαι κλάστε μου τα @@

δηλαδή αυτό που έπρεπε να κάνει το ελληνικό κράτος το ιρλανδικό κράτος κλπ

http://www.new-deal.gr/eponymos/%CE%BF%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%BF%CE%BD%CE%BF%CE%BC%CE%B5%CF%84%CF%81%CF%89%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B1%CF%82/5543-%CE%A5%CE%A0%CE%91%CE%A1%CE%A7%CE%95%CE%99-%CE%96%CE%A9%CE%97-%CE%9A%CE%91%CE%99-%CE%A7%CE%A9%CE%A1%CE%99%CE%A3-%CE%A4%CE%9F-%CE%94%CE%9D%CE%A4-%CE%99%CE%A3%CE%9B%CE%91%CE%9D%CE%94%CE%99%CE%91-%CE%9C%CE%99%CE%91-%CE%A0%CE%A1%CE%91%CE%93%CE%9C%CE%91%CE%A4%CE%99%CE%9A%CE%9F%CE%A4%CE%97%CE%A4%CE%91-%CE%A0%CE%9F%CE%A5-%CE%94%CE%95%CE%9D-%CE%A4%CE%A1%CE%9F%CE%9C%CE%91%CE%96%CE%95%CE%99

=========

Οι Ισλανδοί συνεχίζουν να κάνουν ό,τι δεν κάνει ο υπόλοιπος «πολιτισμένος» κόσμος

Διώκουν ποινικά τους Banksters

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/world/europe/iceland-prosecutor-of-bankers-sees-meager-returns.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

>Iceland, Fervent Prosecutor of Bankers, Sees Meager Returns

Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

«Greed is not a crime. But the question is: where does greed lead?» said Olafur Hauksson, a special prosecutor in Reykjavik.

<nyt_byline>

By 
Published: February 2, 2013
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland — As chief of police in a tiny fishing town for 11 years, Olafur Hauksson developed what he thought was a basic understanding of the criminal mind. The typical lawbreaker, he said, recalling his many encounters with small-time criminals, “clearly knows that he crossed the line” and generally sees “the difference between right and wrong.”

Today, the burly, 48-year-old former policeman is struggling with a very different sort of suspect. Reassigned to Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, to lead what has become one of the world’s most sweeping investigation into the bankers whose actions contributed to the global financial crisis in 2008, Mr. Hauksson now faces suspects who “are not aware of when they crossed the line” and “defend their actions every step of the way.”

With the global economy still struggling to recover from the financial maelstrom five years ago, governments around the world have been criticized for largely failing to punish the bankers who were responsible for the calamity. But even here in Iceland, a country of just 320,000 that has gone after financiers with far more vigor than the United States and other countries hit by the crisis, obtaining criminal convictions has proved devilishly difficult.

Public hostility toward bankers is so strong in Iceland that “it is easier to say you are dealing drugs than to say you’re a banker,” said Thorvaldur Sigurjonsson, the former head of trading for Kaupthing, a once high-flying bank that crumbled. He has been called in for questioning by Mr. Hauksson’s office but has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Yet, in the four years since the Icelandic Parliament passed a law ordering the appointment of an unnamed special prosecutor to investigate those blamed for the country’s spectacular meltdown in 2008, only a handful of bankers have been convicted.

Ministers in a left-leaning coalition government elected after the crash agree that the wheels of justice have ground slowly, but they call for patience, explaining that the process must follow the law, not vengeful passions.

“We are not going after people just to satisfy public anger,” said Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Iceland’s minister of industry, a former finance minister and leader of the Left-Green Movement that is part of the governing coalition.

Hordur Torfa, a popular singer-songwriter who helped organize protests that forced the previous conservative government to resign, acknowledged that “people are getting impatient” but said they needed to accept that “this is not the French Revolution. I don’t believe in taking bankers out and hanging them or shooting them.”

Others are less patient. “The whole process is far too slow,” said Thorarinn Einarsson, a left-wing activist. “It only shows that ‘banksters’ can get away with doing whatever they want.”

Mr. Hauksson, the special prosecutor, said he was frustrated by the slow pace but thought it vital that his office scrupulously follow legal procedure. “Revenge is not something we want as our main driver in this process. Our work must be proper today and be seen as proper in the future,” he said.

Part of the difficulty in prosecuting bankers, he said, is that the law is often unclear on what constitutes a criminal offense in high finance. “Greed is not a crime,” he noted. “But the question is: where does greed lead?”

Mr. Hauksson said it was often easy to show that bankers violated their own internal rules for lending and other activities, but “as in all cases involving theft or fraud, the most difficult thing is proving intent.”

And there are the bankers themselves. Those who have been brought in for questioning often bristle at being asked to account for their actions. “They are not used to being questioned. These people are not used to finding themselves in this situation,” Mr. Hauksson said. They also hire expensive lawyers.

The special prosecutor’s office initially had only five staff members but now has more than 100 investigators, lawyers and financial experts, and it has relocated to a big new office. It has opened about 100 cases, with more than 120 people now under investigation for possible crimes relating to an Icelandic financial sector that grew so big it dwarfed the rest of the economy.

To help ease Mr. Hauksson’s task, legislators amended the law to allow investigators easy access to confidential bank information, something that previously required a court order.

Parliament also voted to put the country’s prime minister at the time of the banking debacle on trial for negligence before a special tribunal. (A proposal to try his cabinet failed.) Mr. Hauksson was not involved in the case against the former leader, Geir H. Haarde, who last year was found guilty of failing to keep ministers properly informed about the 2008 crisis but was acquitted on more serious charges that could have resulted in a prison sentence.

<nyt_text>

Meanwhile, an investigative commission appointed by Parliament first reported to it in April 2010 and later published a nine-volume account of the financial crash, including a study of what philosophers charged with investigating ethical issues behind the crisis called a “moral void” at the heart of Icelandic finance.

Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

A woman initiates a transaction with Arion bank, formerly Kaupthing, a once high-flying bank that crumbled. Iceland has gone after financiers with far more vigor than the United States and others.

Vilhjalmur Arnason, a philosophy professor at Iceland University who worked on the study, described the exercise as “very important for reasons of justice and for reconciliation” in a society traumatized by a crash so severe that it threatened to capsize the country. But, he added, bankers alone were not responsible, as “the whole society was so intoxicated” by values that put profit ahead of morality, the law and even common sense.

After the crash, the new government pushed to restructure the failed banks, purging their former management and owners and prodding them to write off a big chunk of their loans to homeowners burdened with big mortgages. The government declined to bail out foreign bondholders, who lost about $85 billion. Iceland now has a growing economy.

But it is not entirely clear that Iceland deserves its reputation as a warrior against Wall Street orthodoxy. In time, Iceland won praise from the International Monetary Fund for sharp cuts in spending and tax increases that slashed the government’s deficit and helped put the country back on an even keel.

Certainly Iceland, in contrast to the United States and most other countries, has pursued not only little-known financiers but also many of the country’s biggest names in banking and business. “We have been aiming at the upper levels rather than the lower levels,” Mr. Hauksson said.

His biggest scalp so far is that of Larus Welding, the former chief executive of Glitnir, one of the trio of banks that failed in 2008. Mr. Welding and a second former Glitnir executive were found guilty of fraud over a $70 million loan to a company that owned shares in the bank.

Mr. Welding, who is now standing trial in a second case along with one of the country’s most prominent business tycoons, Jon Asgeir Johannesson, was sentenced in December to nine months in prison, six of which were suspended.

The light sentence enraged many Icelanders, but, Mr. Hauksson said, “the important thing is that we got a conviction.” By contrast in Ireland, which put taxpayers on the hook for tens of billions of dollars owed by failed banks, the former chief of the failed Anglo Irish Bank has been charged with financial irregularities but so far no senior bank executive has yet been found guilty of a crime.

Prosecuting bankers was never going to be easy, particularly in a country like Iceland, which is so small that nearly everybody in the capital has a friend or family member who worked at one time in finance. When Iceland’s Justice Ministry first advertised for applicants for the new post of special prosecutor, nobody responded.

Mr. Hauksson, an outsider with no network of friends and relatives in Reykjavik, was then urged to apply during a second attempt to fill the post and was given the job.

“I thought this was something that had to be looked into,” Mr. Hauksson said. “If we prosecute small cases we also have to look into big cases.” But, he added, this risks “opening up a Pandora’s box” that can escalate even relatively simple cases “into something very big.”

The high stakes have also left some investigators vulnerable to temptation: two former members of Mr. Hauksson’s staff were placed under criminal investigation last year for selling confidential information for 30 million Icelandic krona (around $233,000) to the administrator of a bankrupt company who was trying to locate missing assets.

That episode has not dented Iceland’s heroic image among antibanker campaigners abroad. Mr. Sigfusson, the minister of industry, said he was regularly invited to speak on how Iceland dealt with its banking crisis. Iceland, he said, has “no magic solution” but has managed to push through unpopular cuts in spending in part because it managed to curb public anger by pushing for the prosecution of its bankers.

Today, Iceland’s bankers are both mocked for their recklessness during the boom years and reviled for pushing the country to the brink of economic ruin.

Mr. Sigurjonsson, the former Kaupthing banker, said a “big umbrella of suspicion” has opened up over anybody who worked in finance and unfairly stigmatized “highly educated and very able people who can lend a hand in resurrecting the country.”

He said he was shocked recently when he heard the young daughter of a friend, also a former banker, ask, “Daddy, why are bankers all criminals?”

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Σύμφωνα με τους New York Times το μεγάλο εμπόδιο για την Ελλάδα είναι οι ολιγάρχες! For Greece, Oligarchs Are Obstacle to Recovery (Δηλαδή δεν είναι οι Δημόσιοι Υπάλληλοι;)

Είπαμε χαζοκούμπαροι κυπρέοι που ακόμα εν επήρετε χαπάρι για την φτώσια που σας περιμένει

 

αυτό που γίνεται στην Κύπρο είναι σχεδόν copy paste με ό,τι γινόταν και γίνεται στην Ελλάδα

 

προς το παρόν απλά η είδηση από εδώ

http://youpayyourcrisis.blogspot.com/2012/12/for-greece-oligarchs-are-obstacle-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YouPayYourCrisis+%28You+Pay+Your+Crisis%29

Πέμπτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

For Greece, Oligarchs Are Obstacle to Recovery (Δηλαδή δεν είναι οι Δημόσιοι Υπάλληλοι;)

ΠΗΓΗ: New York Times
By RACHEL DONADIO and LIZ ALDERMAN
ATHENS — A dynamic entrepreneur, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis seemed to represent a promising new era for Greece. He dazzled the country’s traditionally insular business world by spinning together a multibillion-dollar empire just a few years after inheriting a small family firm at 18. Seeking acceptance in elite circles, he gave lavishly to charities and cultivated ties to the leading political parties.
Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, who took control of Proton Bank in 2009, paid $65 million to avoid prosecution. Nonetheless, he and 26 others were charged with fraud and other counts in March.
But as Greece’s economy soured in recent years, his fortunes sagged and he began embezzling money from a bank he controlled, prosecutors say. With charges looming, it looked as if his rapid rise would be followed by an equally precipitous fall. Thanks to a law passed quietly by the Greek Parliament, however, he avoided prosecution, at least for a time, simply by paying the money back.
Now 40, Mr. Lavrentiadis is back in the spotlight as one of the names on the so-called Lagarde list of more than 2,000 Greeks said to have accounts in a Geneva branch of the bank HSBC and who are suspected of tax evasion. Given to Greek officials two years ago by Christine Lagarde, then the French finance minister and now head of the International Monetary Fund, the list was expected to cast a damning light on the shady practices of the rich.

Instead, it was swept under the rug, and now two former finance ministers and Greece’s top tax officials are under investigation for having failed to act.
Greece’s economic troubles are often attributed to a public sector packed full of redundant workers, a lavish pension system and uncompetitive industries hampered by overpaid workers with lifetime employment guarantees. Often overlooked, however, is the role played by a handful of wealthy families, politicians and the news media — often owned by the magnates — that make up the Greek power structure.
In a country crushed by years of austerity and 25 percent unemployment, average Greeks are growing increasingly resentful of an oligarchy that, critics say, presides over an opaque, closed economy that is at the root of many of the country’s problems and operates with virtual impunity. Several dozen powerful families control critical sectors, including banking, shipping and construction, and can usually count on the political class to look out for their interests, sometimes by passing legislation tailored to their specific needs.
The result, analysts say, is a lack of competition that undermines the economy by allowing the magnates to run cartels and enrich themselves through crony capitalism. “That makes it rational for them to form a close, incestuous relationship with politicians and the media, which is then highly vulnerable to corruption,” said Kevin Featherstone, a professor of European Politics at the London School of Economics.
This week the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Greece as the most corrupt nation in Europe, behind former Soviet states like Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Under the pressure of the financial crisis, Greece is being pressed by Germany and its international lenders to make fundamental changes to its economic system in exchange for the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy.
But it remains an open question whether Greece’s leaders will be able to engineer such a transformation. In the past year, despite numerous promises to increase transparency, the country actually dropped 14 places from the previous corruption survey.
Mr. Lavrentiadis is still facing a host of accusations stemming from hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made by his Proton bank to dormant companies — sometimes, investigators say, ordering an employee to withdraw the money in bags of cash. But with Greece scrambling to complete a critical bank recapitalization and restructuring, his case is emblematic of a larger battle between Greece’s famously weak institutions and fledgling regulatory structures against these entrenched interests.
Many say that the system has to change in order for Greece to emerge from the crisis. “Keeping the status quo will simply prolong the disaster in Greece,” Mr. Featherstone said. While the case of Mr. Lavrentiadis suggests that the status quo is at least under scrutiny, he added, “It’s not under sufficient attack.”
In a nearly two-hour interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis denied accusations of wrongdoing and said that he held “a few accounts” at HSBC in Geneva that totaled only about $65,000, all of it legitimate, taxed income. He also sidestepped questions about his political ties and declined to comment on any details of the continuing investigation into Proton Bank.
Sitting in the office of his criminal lawyer last month, relaxed, smiling and dressed in a crisp blue suit and red-and-blue tie, Mr. Lavrentiadis said he found it puzzling that he had been singled out in reports about the Lagarde list when other powerful figures appeared to evade scrutiny.
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“My question is, ‘Why me?’ ” he said. “I’m the scapegoat for everything.”
In the interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis depicted himself as an outsider and upstart, an entrepreneur in a small country dominated by old families who frown on newcomers. “I am not from a third-generation aristocratic family,” he said repeatedly.
Indeed, by some lights, Mr. Lavrentiadis fell in part because he rose too quickly and then failed to secure enough of the right friends to protect him, a perception he did not dispute.
“Why me, something that is clean, and why not something that has bigger problems?” he said. Pressed on who might be responsible for his troubles, he smiled enigmatically. “I could tell you thousands of names,” he said, “but it’s not my style.”
Mr. Lavrentiadis’s mettle was forged early, when he took the reins of his family’s chemical supply firm, Neochimiki, in 1990, after the death of his father. Bright and charming, and stricken with rheumatoid arthritis, he quickly enlarged the company and stormed into the Greek business world in 2003, when he listed the company on the Athens Stock Exchange. In 2008, the Carlyle Group, one of Wall Street’s largest asset management firms, paid more than $970 million for a stake in Neochimiki.
Over the next four years, Mr. Lavrentiadis built an empire that included holdings in pharmaceuticals, banks, a soccer team and works of art. He also took stakes in print and electronic news media outlets, following a pattern in which magnates own virtually every nongovernmental news media outlet in the country. But the veneer began to crack soon after the financial crisis hit. Carlyle lost more than $65 million on Neochimiki and accused Mr. Lavrentiadis of overstating its financial health. Cash was bleeding from a range of other business holdings.
In December 2009, four months before Greece sought a foreign bailout, Mr. Lavrentiadis bought a controlling stake in Proton Bank, which had expanded rapidly after acquiring a small bank called Omega in 2005. Omega’s board members included Mr. Lavrentiadis; the father-in-law at the time of Evangelos Venizelos, now the Socialist Party leader; and a brother of George Papandreou, a former prime minister.
Regulators now charge that from the moment Mr. Lavrentiadis took over Proton, he began looting it to prop up his failing businesses and those of a network of what appear to be shell companies. In 2010 alone, a total of $925 million — more than 40 percent of Proton’s commercial loans — were made with virtually no credit checks to his firms or to shell companies he had sold to associates, according to an audit by Greece’s central bank, first reported by Reuters.
His problems burst into the public realm in mid-2011, when Greek financial prosecutors charged him with embezzling the $65 million, following investigations into suspected money laundering.
Several months earlier, however, lawmakers had quietly passed a law that allowed people suspected of wrongdoing to avoid prosecution if they repaid the money they were accused of stealing in certain crimes. The idea, legislators said, was to speed resolution of cases in Greece’s notoriously slow courts. Mr. Lavrentiadis quickly paid back the $65 million to Proton and claimed immunity.
Then in March, a financial prosecutor charged him and 26 others with fraud, embezzlement, forming a criminal gang, money laundering and breach of faith stemming from loans believed to have been issued by Proton Bank. The $65 million repaid by Mr. Lavrentiadis in a bid to secure immunity is regarded by prosecutors as only a part of the more than $915 million in bad loans that prosecutors say Proton floated to dormant companies.
In the interview, Mr. Lavrentiadis confirmed that he had returned the $65 million but declined to say under what circumstances. He dismissed the Bank of Greece report as not “objective,” and said prosecutors had not yet called him for questioning or detailed the charges against him personally, beyond those against the 27 as a group. “I trust Greek justice,” he said.
Multimedia
Interactive Feature
Tracking Europe’s Debt Crisis
Related
Times Topic: Greece
Greece and Italy Are Listed Among Corrupt in Europe (December 6, 2012)
Larissa Journal: In Land of Bailouts, Greek Madam Rescues Local Soccer Team (December 4, 2012)
Connect With Us on Twitter
Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.
Twitter List: Reporters and Editors
Despite the fraud accusations against him, Mr. Lavrentiadis was still the beneficiary of questionable government actions. In July 2011, Mr. Venizelos, then the finance minister, authorized a $130 million deposit of government money to Proton for a single day, he says to avoid a calamitous collapse. The action was approved by the Greek central bank but was in defiance of a ruling by Greece’s General Accounting Office that it was illegal. The $130 million, plus interest, was returned to the government, Mr. Venizelos said in written answers to a list of questions.
“It was absolutely necessary to preserve Proton — not Lavrentiadis — in order to save huge amounts of public money,” added Mr. Venizelos, who resigned as finance minister in March. A month after the $130 million transfer, Mr. Venizelos was co-writer of a law that retroactively granted the finance minister full power to bail out banks with public money, regardless of the recommendations of other state institutions.
Mr. Venizelos said the law was necessary because “Greece had not had a clear legislative framework that could allow it to handle public deposits in crisis situations.” But legal experts said it was part of a broader pattern in Greece where actions by influential figures are later smoothed over with new legislation that eliminates any questions of illegality.
Mr. Lavrentiadis declined to comment on his ties with Mr. Venizelos, beyond saying, “I never asked a favor.”
In October 2011, Proton was nationalized. “I was shocked,” Mr. Lavrentiadis said, adding that he did not believe the bank’s finances merited the move. In March, he challenged the decision in the Supreme Court and is awaiting a ruling.
Asked if the Proton case was evidence of a regulatory system that was working or one that had failed, Mr. Lavrentiadis smiled. “It’s a regulated market without rules,” he said of Greece. “You can interpret it however it’s to your benefit.”
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