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Merkel blasts banks for their role in Greek tragedy

Steve Dinneen
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German chancellor Angela Merkel rounded on investment banks yesterday as Goldman Sachs’ alleged complicity in covering up the size of Greece’s deficit came under scrutiny.

She said: “It’s a scandal if it turned out that the same banks that brought us to the brink of the abyss helped fake the statistics.” She failed to name Goldman directly but said Greece had “falsified statistics for years.”

Her government also questioned Goldman’s role in helping the beleaguered country hide its debt from the rest of Europe. Michael Meister, financial affairs spokesman, even said a swap agreement in 2002 managed by Goldman “broke the spirit of the Maastricht Treaty.”

EU regulators ordered Greece to disclose details of currency swaps after it was revealed they may have been used to mask its spiralling debts.