Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Alenka Bratušek, Slovenian Prime Minister at the rostrum, in the presence of Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, (seated, from left to right). International donors' conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia after the devastating floods in the Balkans. (EC Audiovisual Services, 16/07/2014).

Alenka Bratušek, Slovenian Prime Minister at the rostrum, in the presence of Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, (seated, from left to right). International donors’ conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia after the devastating floods in the Balkans. (EC Audiovisual Services, 16/07/2014).

Last week the European Commission ruthlessly wrote the last chapter of the Slovenian financial tragedy. In it, this nation of only two million people was forced by Brussels to save with around €7 billion of taxpayers’ money (a bit less than one tenth of GDP) the overgrown, reckless, aggressive even fraudulent banking system of this otherwise healthy economy. Certainly this is not a Balkan malady. Unfortunately, the small and beautiful country is the latest victim of the global disease, which threatened to send the real economy of the world to chaos. Simply, the international banking cancer of imprudent lending and super risky bets this time struck the third largest bank of Slovenia, the Abanka.

Last December the poor Slovenian taxpayers were forced by Brussels and the European Central Bank to pay the costs to save Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d. (NLB) and of Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d. d. (NKBM), the largest and second largest banks of the tiny republic. By the same token Slovenians were forced to pay for the winding down of two other banks, the Factor Banka and Probanka. These last two lenders had crossed any line of honesty and prudency and usurped the money deposited with them by the unsuspecting customers. Of course the guilt weights also on the European and national financial watchdogs and auditors, who despite of being responsible to protect the citizens from ‘sharks’ they betrayed them.

An ‘urgent’ case

The European Commission presented this decision as urgently needed measures to “ensure that Slovenia’s economy can count on a viable, healthy banking sector”. Not a word about who was responsible within the banks’ management, the owners (that is the politicians, because the banks are state-owned) and the supervisory authorities for the incredible ‘party’ with other people’s money.

Let’s start from this latest act, in this vast swindle, which started in the US and then spread all over the Western financial system. Ljubljana was the last prey of the banking vultures. All the major banks in the country participated in this world-wide hoax. For as long as the ‘game’ could continue and produce immense takings pocketed by managers, shareholders and dealers, everything was all right and the competent authorities and auditors had nothing to comment or scrutinise. When the trickery became apparent and the bets in every conceivable market went sour, the Commission rushed to Ljubljana to ‘approve the needed measures’ as it had done in Dublin, Nicosia, Madrid and Athens. Not to forget the hundreds of billions paid by the British, the German and French taxpayers to save the lenders in their countries, with or without the Commission’s approval.

The Slovenian tragedy

The last case in the Slovenian drama is Abanka. “The plan covers a first State recapitalisation of €348 million, temporarily authorised by the Commission in December 2013, and a second recapitalisation of €243 million together with a transfer of assets to the Slovenian asset management company (BAMC) of €1 087 million (gross book value)”. This last BAMC is not new. There is one BAMC in every European capital.

Those BAMCs are the ‘bad banks’ created by governments, to undertake the non-performing loans and other toxic assets of the regular banks and make the taxpayers responsible to cover the losses. The real culpable parties, the bankers, who had approved the bad loans and placements got away as if nothing had happened. Probably a large part of those loans had found its way even to the pockets of politicians. In the case of Greece the two major political parties, New Democracy and PASOK, had been handed hundreds of millions in unsubstantiated loans from the country’s banks on collateral of their future…turnouts in elections.

Coming back to Slovenia, the core decision to load the banking trickeries and losses on taxpayers was taken last December in Brussels. On that occasion, the Commission had “approved in five distinct decisions state aid measures in favor of five Slovenian banks. The Commission approved the restructuring plans of NLB and of NKBM, in particular because they will enable the banks to become viable in the long-term without unduly distorting competition. The Commission also approved aid for the orderly winding down of Factor Banka d.d. and Probanka d.d., … Finally, the Commission temporarily approved rescue aid in favor of Abanka Vipa d.d. (Abanka), for reasons of financial stability”. Nova Ljubljanska Banka, Nova KBM and Abanka are state-owned, a fact that makes the politico-banking rig even more apparent.

Free billions for the bankers

The truth remains that the Slovenian taxpayers have been asked to support the country’s banks with €3bn in recapitalisations, plus another €4.6bn in non-performing loans and other assets, which have been transferred to the ‘bad bank’. Large tarts of it will be written off as loss at taxpayers’ expenses. Most or all of this money can be attributed to fraudulent loans and super-risky placements decided by the country’s bankers – politicians unholy alliance.

It is even more disturbing to watch this flagrant robbery of the Slovenian taxpayers, only a few months after the Eurozone’s decision makers agreed in the Eurogroup on the creation of the European Banking Union. Allegedly, the prime objectives of the EBU are to cut the umbilical cord between bankers and politicians and relieve taxpayers from the burden of bailing out failing banks. Alas it proves to be a lie.

All in all the last act of the Slovenian banking tragedy proves that Eurozone’s prime target is not the wellbeing of citizens, but rather the dishonest enrichment of bankers and politicians.












the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more inclusive Argentine economy

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

On World Day to Combat Desertification, UN shines spotlight on ‘true value’ of land

Are you breathing plastic air at home? Here’s how microplastics are polluting our lungs

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

Commission launches debate on more efficient decision-making in EU social policy

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

Remarks by High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the EU-China Strategic Dialogue

An FTA between EU-US to hurt South Korea

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

Return of Kuwaiti property by Iraq, signals hope of ‘full normalization’ between nations: UN Chief

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

Why European manufacturing SMEs in the South face fatal dangers

A long German political winter is on the way

The EU Parliament backs the ‘Right2Water’ initiative all the way through

Consumer protection: Deal on EU-wide rules for those sold faulty products

The Parliament rejects cultivating the wrong seeds of the Commission

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

Human rights are ‘key’ for economic policymaking says UN expert

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

‘Alarming levels’ of methamphetamine trafficking in Asia’s Mekong, UN warns

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Not a single child spared the ‘mind-boggling violence’ of Yemen’s war

Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

FROM THE FIELD: Weather reports come to aid of Uganda’s farmers

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

Estonia is making public transport free

Do electronic cigarettes produce adverse health effects?

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

EU Visa Policy: Commission welcomes agreement to strengthen EU visa rules

Let us keep ‘their spirit of service alive’: Guterres leads tributes to UN workers who died in Ethiopia crash

Prisons are failing. It’s time to find an alternative

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Tackling Youth Unemployment

New EU short-stay visas: more advantages for legitimate travellers

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

Congrats to the #FutureofMalta: a new age of voting

State of the Union 2018: The Hour of European Sovereignty

Amending Guatemala ‘reconciliation law’ would lead to unjust amnesty, warns Bachelet

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Romanian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Yemen: ‘A great first step’ UN declares as aid team accesses grain silo which can feed millions

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s