ANNOUNCEMENT 19 Nov 2008In November 2008, the government of Greece announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
letter from the EC to Greek - Brussels, 23.05.2011 C(2011) 3589 final - http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/state_aids/comp-2010/n429-10-en.pdf
On 19 November 2008, the Commission approved, as a scheme, a package of support measures for credit institutions in Greece. On that basis, on 21 May 2009 Agricultural Bank of Greece (hereinafter "ATE") was recapitalised by the State by an amount of EUR 675 million in the form of Tier 1 preference shares.
On 1 October 2010, the Greek authorities notified a restructuring plan for ATE to the Commission.
Three types of State aid measures were granted to ATE in the context of the Greek support package for credit institutions:
1) Capital injections
2) State guarantees
3) Participation in the Bond load scheme
Altogether, the total aid under the Guarantee and the Bond Loan Schemes amounted to EUR 6,103.8 million and represented 22.2% of the group's total liabilities as of 31 December 2008 (EUR 27,543 million).
ATE is the fifth-largest banking group in Greece. Its assets total EUR 31.2 billion on 31 December 2010. ATE has a market share in Greece of approximately 6.1% of total assets of banks in Greece and the second-largest distribution network in Greece with 483 branches and 947 ATMs.
The European Commission gave the following assessment:
"With regard to the aid measures granted to ATE in the context of its participation in the Greek support package for credit institutions (including the Recapitalisation Scheme, the Guarantee Scheme and the Bond Loan Scheme), the Commission has already concluded that measures granted under those schemes constitute State aid. Such measures have been qualified as selective and given the bank's presence in other Member States they distort competition and affect the trade conditions among Member States." (par. 44 of the letter from the EC to Greek - Brussels, 23.05.2011 C(2011) 3589 final).
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.