Goldman Sachs and Greece’s decline – (VPRO documentary)

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Between 2000 and 2012, Goldman Sachs provided Greece with risky financial products in order to hide the country’s public debt. This allowed Greece to live beyond its means, ending in a near bankruptcy. Goldman Sachs earned a few hundred millions on the deal that made the position of Greece within the European Union untenable. Is Goldman Sachs responsible for the decline of Greece? What happened in December 2000 and June 2001? Goldman Sachs gave the Greek Ministry of Finance tricks to bring the public debt closer to the 60 percent-of-gdp, the limit that was set by the EU in 1992’s Maastricht Treaty. Both Goldman Sachs and the Greek government considered this to be business as usual. ‘Everyone did this back in the days’, is their reaction.

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The European Controller Eurostat was also informed about this and saw no objections to these forms of financial engineering. It worsened Athens’ case and the austerity measures that are hitting right now a population that hardly understands how the country got to this point. Greece's debts are enormous and now Greece is under the control of a troika of the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank. This situation caused the first crack in the ideals of the euro zone. Director Alexander Oey visited New York, London and Athens to investigated this case. With: William D. Cohan, author of "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs came to rule the world."; Nomi Prince, former partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs; Nick Dunbar, a financial journalist at Bloomberg; Yanis Varoufakis, Greek economist; Christoforos Sardelis, former head of the Greek debt management agency; Petros Christodoulou, succeeding Sardelis as head of the Greek debt management agency. Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2012.

© February 2012 VPRO Documentary: Our globalized world causes societies, economies and cultures to seek a new balance. VPRO Documentary reflects on this with new features every week. We research subjects like politics, world economy, society and science with experts and try to grasp the essence of prominent trends and developments.

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