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Home arrow newsitems arrow Greek Economy and Goldman Sachs scandal: MEPs call to investigate 1999-2001 and earlier

Greek Economy and Goldman Sachs scandal: MEPs call to investigate 1999-2001 and earlier

Written by ACM
Thursday, 04 March 2010

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Calls to fully investigate what really happened in the Greek Economy, including from 1999-2001 or even earlier (i.e. 1980ies' period) multiplied in EU Parliament, in addition to similar moves at the National Greek Parliament (Vouli) and elsewhere.

The issue was reportedly raised, this week at the Conference of (Political Groups' Presidents) in view of next week's EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, where both the February 11 Brussels' EU Summit and EU's draft Economic Policy guidelines at the "2020" Horizon are due to be discussed and Resolutions voted.

Already, the experienced President of EU Parliament's Liberal Group, former Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt, stressed since February 24 in Brussels, that it's "Urgent" to "take the Initiative" "to determine what exactly happened in Greece" :

- "It is important" to know, the President of the Liberal Group stressed, pointing to the fact that " Investment banks – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank – are minimising what they have done in the Greece case", as he said, speaking in Brussels shortly after revelations at New York of the Goldman Sachs' intervention scandal, which reportedly disguissed the real situation of Greece's Debt back in 2000, when the conditions and the Timing of its entry into EuroZone was decided.

- "We cannot talk about remedies, about solutions, about reforms in the EU if first of all we do not know what really happened in the case of Greece in 2008 and 2009 and before that", he pointed out, without Time-limits for the periods to examine.

That's why "it is the task of (EU) Parliament to organise Hearings with the relevant Committee, as quickly as possible, so that we can hear all the parties concerned on this matter. ...., I think it is absolutely necessary", Verhofstadt proposed.

Because, "we received contradictory information : Greece says that it has given all the information to the EU ... At the same time, the European Commission and Eurostat are saying that they did not receive all the necessary information", he observed, apparently speaking about the 2000 affair.

Similar calls were made earlier at EU Parliament's February Session in Strasbourg also by various other MEPs, as, f.ex. Austrian Hans Peter Martin, famous from his anti-Corruption endeavours, during a Debate on EuroZone.

EU Parliament's officials said now that special Hearings would be hold before the end of February on who is really responsible for provoking and/or hiding the true facts about Greece's huge debt. Witnesses from EU Commission, EuroStat, Greek Government, Goldman Sachs, Experts, etc. are due to speak at a forthcoming Hearing by the Economic Committee chaired by Brittish Liberal MEP Mrs Sharon Bowles.

Notoriously, a deal was brokered in 1999-2000, between former Socialist Governments in several EU Member Countries and the PASOK Government in Greece, according to which it accepted Turkey's controversial EU bid at December 1999 Helsinki Summit and the unfreezing of EU Funds for Turkey despite the non-fulfillment of Human Rights and International Law conditions by Ankara, in exchange of Athen's entry into EuroZone sooner than normal and even without the due preparatory reforms.

Many believe that, in case of Enquiry, EU Parliament couldn't credibly refuse full Investigations extended to recent Decades, including the way Greece's entry into EuroZone was prepared, after the recent revelations of the Goldman Sachs' scandal, dated since 2000-2001, when the American agency covered up the Socialist Greek Government's debt, while experienced EU Commission vice-President Almunia's (in charge of EU Financial affairs for 4 Years) latest data clearly indicated that Greece's Debt originated many years ago in the Past (See relevant Publication with Almunia's replies to "EuroFora"s questions : .. ).

Particularly when even USA's Federal Reserve's head Bernanke is reportedly investigating the 2001 Goldman Sachs' scandal, and Greece's main opposition party, Nouvelle Democratie, of former MEP Antonis Samaras, officially asked to extend an Investigation of the National Parliament, initiated by the governing PASOK Majority, "up to 1981", (i.e. from the start of "PASOK'" party's former governments)...

Meanwhile, experienced EU Commissioner in charge of Markets, Michel Barnier, anounced also a parallel EU Investigation on some Funds' alleged interference in Financial Markets on speculative operations aiming to buy Greek State's bonds at higher than normal intrest rates on March 2010 : A practice strongly denounced also by France, Germany and other EuroZone Member Countries, because it might threaten to progressively undermine parts of the Euro area by exploiting a few weak points earlier provoked.

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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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