In May 2010, the government of Greece announced a change in private-sector financial support.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising


Letter from the EC to Greece, Brussels 27.7.2012

Inception date: 28 May 2012 | Removal date: open ended

Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)

On 20 April, the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) undertook a share capital increase of NGB Bank, worth EUR 6.9 billion. HFSF was established on 3 May 2010 and its main objective is to safeguard the stability of the Greek banking system by providing equity capital to credit institutions. The amount has finally been transferred on 28 May 2012. (par. 43, letter from the EC to Greece, Brussels 27.7.2012)
National Bank of Greece (NBG) is the largest bank in Greece, founded in 1841. NBG provide a wide range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, asset management, brokerage, investment banking, insurance and real estate at a global level. (par. 34)
Already in May 2009, NBG Bank received a capital injection of EUR 350 million under the recapitalisation scheme (related measure). Furthermore, on 22 December 2011, NBG benefited from a second recapitalization of EUR 1 billion.(par. 38) Additionally, NBG received state guarantees of EUR 17.8 billion and bond loans of EUR 0.8 billion.
The EC finds that: 'HFSF receives its resources from the State. The HFSF has a limited duration up to 2017, and so any profit or loss it incurs will eventually be borne by the State.' (par. 49)
With regard to distortions, the EC concludes that: 'the position of the beneficiary was strengthened since the bank was provided with the financial resources to continue to comply with the capital requirements, thus leading to competition distortions. As NBG is active in other European financial markets and as financial institutions from other Member States operate in Greece, the bridge recapitalisation by the HFSF is also likely to affect trade between Member States.' (par. 51)
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.