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Finland releases the secret Assets Swap (collateral deal) with Greece

Some KTG-readers may can still recall the secret collateral agreement between Greece and Finland in exchange for the Nordic nation to provide funds for the second bailout for the debt-ridden country. That was back in February 2012. The deal was signed by the finance ministers of Greece,  Evangelos Venizelos, and of Finland,  Jutta Urpilainen. Although the deal was signed ‘in secret” and some details were leaked, the whole deal was never published. Greece had insisted that the deal remains secret. However on Monday, a Finnish top administrative court tool care of transparency. After two submitted complaints, the court ruled that the government in Helsinki must reveal the deal details.

On Wednesday morning, Finland’s finance ministry uploaded the 8-page long Total Return Swap Confirmation on its website.

Court ruling and collateral deal

“The Finance Ministry must make the agreement public with the exception of names and other identifiers of the Greek banks that facilitated the asset swap, the Supreme Administrative Court in Helsinki said today in a ruling posted on its website.

Finland was the only country to take the collateral deal that was made available to all euro members. The Finance Ministry had showed the document to lawmakers without allowing them to make copies and then published a brief summary. Greece wanted the document to remain confidential, according to the court statement.

Under the accord, a total of about 880 million euros ($1.14 billion) of Greek bonds are transferred from Greek banks to a trustee, which sells them and invests the proceeds in bonds of the five highest-rated euro-area sovereigns with maturities of 15 to 30 years.

The Nordic country’s share of the second Greek rescue was about 2.2 billion euros and it gave Greece a 1.3 billion-euro bilateral loan in the first bailout, according to the Finance Ministry. (full story Bloomberg)

The full collateral deal “Total Return Swap Confirmation” document on pdf is here

…and thanks to Finland, Greeks may get insight into secret agreements now enforced by the law to become transparent 🙂

PS I hope it’s not some kind of “international conspiracy” against PASOK-leader Venizelos.

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