Back in 2009, Governor of the Bank of Greece George Provopoulos encouraged naked short-selling of Greek bonds by altering the regulations on the electronic bond trading platform. The Governor knew better than anybody else the country’s negative fiscal situation. Why did he facilitate the speculation? This is a question that remains to be answered.
Claims that the Greek bail-out from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund was the result of sustained shorting of Greek bonds by unnamed speculators and hedge funds, are not unfounded.
The Bank of Greece first extended the settlement period for transactions on Electronic Secondary Securities Market [HDAT], the bond trading platform, from T plus 3 (trading plus three days) to T plus 10. The change was reportedly made in response to a request (!) from the Association of Greek Banks, which represents market-makers in Greek bonds. But it gave short sellers a longer window of opportunity to push down the price of a Greek bond before delivering it on the settlement date.
The central bank also abolished penalties for investors which did not deliver a bond on the settlement date in a move that allowed failed transactions to be continuously recycled.
Later on, during April 2010, the Bank of Greece reversed both decisions after details of much increased short-selling and large numbers of unsettled transactions were revealed.
Due to the bail-out the Greek people are suffering an unprecedented violation of their constitutional rights since the 1967-1973 dictatorship era, from a government constantly failing to deliver.
Greece holds the record in both the euro zone and the wider European Union for unemployment, with a rate of 26.8 percent in October 2012, the latest figure available.
Painful austerity measures and an endless economic drama are exacting a deadly toll on the nation. Greece has always had one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, but its economic crisis has triggered a disturbing increase in the number of people killing themselves.
Meanwhile, Governor Provopoulos not only is not facing any criminal charges but remains in office as Governor of the Bank of Greece (!!).
“Greece will pay back the billions of euros of European aid it has received to fight its debt crisis”, he told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, AFP reports. “I understand the concern of European taxpayers,” Governor Provopoulos, said in Thursday’s edition of the daily newspaper. “But I can tell you one thing: this time, the government will get results. The country is transforming itself. The Europeans will get their money back.”
Governor Provopoulos has got some nerve!