In October 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 26.7.2012

Inception date: 26 Jul 2012 | Removal date: open ended

Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)

On 1 October 2010, Greece provided the European Commission with a restructuring plan for Proton Bank. On 9 October 2011, the bank was resolved in order to 'protect systemic stability' (par. 11, letter from the EC to Greece - Brussels 26.7.2012)
Already in May 2009, Proton received state guarantees for issued bonds worth EUR 149.4 million and additional government securities of EUR 78 million in April 2009.
On 9 October 2011, parallel to the resolution, a new bank was created 'Nea Proton Bank'. This new state-owned bank received all deposits and selected assets of the 'old' Proton Bank. The transfer was accompanied by two measures:

  1. An intervention by the resolution scheme in the form that the bank of Greece covers the gap between the value of assets transferred (their fair value) and the value registered in the books of Proton bank the day of the transfer. This gap amounts for EUR 1.122 billion.
  2. An additional capital injection into Nea Proton bank amounting for an additional EUR 250 million.

The EC analyses both instruments and concludes on potential trade distortions in both cases individually:

  1. Intervention - EUR 1.122 billion :

That selective advantage distorts competition by keeping the banking activities alive and allowing them to continue competing on the market11. It also affects trade between Member States as several subsidiaries of foreign banking groups are present on the Greek banking market and in direct competition with the banking activities previously operated within the legal entity Proton Bank. (par. 36)
2. Capital injection - EUR 250 million:
The Commission also notes that the capital injections provided a selective advantage, enabling Nea Proton Bank to obtain capital it could not have found on the market...Nea Proton Bank is in competition with other banks, interalia with subsidiaries of foreign banks. Hence, the capital injections have an effect on trade and are capable of distorting competition. (par. 41 & 42.)
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.