Greece defends complex Goldman Sachs debt swap

BBC News
19 Feb 2010

Greece has defended a controversial deal that may have masked the extent of its budget woes and has annoyed the European Union.

The 2001 debt-swap deal with Goldman Sachs was legal under EU rules, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told the Greek parliament.

The European Commission has asked Greece to provide details of the deal.

The EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat, said it has only recently became aware of the complex transaction.

The cross-currency deal with Goldman is reported to have allowed Greece – which joined the euro in 2001 – to show a smaller budget deficit.

Reports say the contracts also delayed payments on the debt and made its obligations seem less than they were on first glance – allowing Greece to get deeper into debt.

The article continues at BBC News.

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