Greece Pulls The Plug On ERT

Stunned workers and others gathered outside ERT in Athens

Employees of the Greek national broadcaster ERT who vowed to stay on the air even as the government said the TV and radio stations funded by mandatory payments in electric bills would close and then re-open with a drastically reduced staff were stunned when the transmitting signals were suddenly shut off at 11  p.m. on June 11, leaving the stations dark, except for those who could see it on the Internet or paid satellite systems.

The broadcaster had been brutally critical all day of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ decision to shut it down without warning as part of a plan to shed 15,000 workers on the orders of international lenders by the end of 2014. Samaras has so far exempted Parliament workers from further pay cuts or job losses.

The transmitter atop Mt. Parnitha was discontinued, then followed the cutoff of ET-3 in Thessaloniki, and at other stations in Patra, Kefalonia and Ithaca.

ERT consisted of five TV channels, ET-1, NET, ET-3, ERT World and ERT-HD as well as seven radio stations in Athens, three in Thessaloniki, 19 peripheral radio stations across the country, symphonic orchestra and one of modern music as well as a choir. It also had magazines, and a website, digital archives, web TV at, some 2,324 regular employees and 792 provisional workers.

Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, took the action over the objections of his coalition partners, the PASOK Socialists and Democratic Left (DIMAR) who weren’t notified until earlier in the day. The union representing the workers said 2600 of the 2800 workers would lose their jobs, but the government said the broadcaster was full of dead wood – hired over the years by New Democracy and PASOK administrations in return for votes as it did in packing other government agencies and entities, helping create the country’s crushing economic crisis.

Although there had been rumors over the past few days that the government would opt for closing ERT as a way to reduce civil servant numbers, the announcement by spokesman Simos Kedikoglou took millions of Greeks by surprise. Kedikoglou claimed that ERT suffered from a “lack of transparency” and was a source of waste.

“The Greek people are paying for ERT, which has three times, even eight times, as much staff as it needs,” he said. The government, he said, was sacrificing one of the public sector’s “sacred cows.” Greeks pay roughly 300 million euros ($400 million) a year in license fees. Kedikoglou said that these charges would not apply until a leaner and more efficient public broadcaster is set up but no timetable was given. The decision leaves Greece for now without a national broadcaster.

It was known to the Greek media that Samaras had discussed the closure of ERT with several close advisers and government officials and saw the move as one that would show his determination to carry out the structural reforms being demanded by Greece’s lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) although he has left alone other bloated state enterprises.

Sourced leaked that the premier brought up the issue with his coalition partners, Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis of DIMAR and that they refused to give their consent for ERT to be closed down even though Greece has promised the Troika it would sack 2,000 civil servants this summer, 4,000 by the end of the year and 14,000 by the end of 2014.

The ministers from the two junior parties did not sign the legislative act published in the Government Gazette yesterday allowing public enterprises to be shut down but can do nothing about it, leaving them no where to turn unless they decide to walk away from the coalition, which would bring down the government. They have previously said they wouldn’t do that.

The announcement prompted terse responses from both coalition partners, who said they had not been involved in the decision, and sharp criticism from opposition parties. “The state broadcaster cannot be closed down,” PASOK said in a statement, adding that the party supported “bold and genuine reforms” but opposed “irresponsible and dangerous public relations stunts.”

PASOK spokesman Yiannis Maniatis also slammed New Democracy for sidelining the junior partners. “A coalition government comprising three partners cannot function through faits accomplis,“ Maniatis said, adding that “important matters must be decided by all party leaders.”

DIMAR issued a statement saying that it “radically disagreed” with the closure of ERT, adding that it was “inconceivable” for a European country not to have a state television channel, even for an hour.

SYRIZA leader, Alexis Tsipras, called on both coalition partners to take “a clear position” on the move, which he described as “a coup d’etat” and said his party was considering bringing a censure motion against the government if it goes ahead with the closure.


  1. Anyone that claims that the EU and US is “fascist”… and that “bailout” = “fascism”… is a far leftist basket case or mentally ill.

  2. how dumb are you? bailouts are fascism, as one of the tenants (please note not the ENTIRE tenant) of fascism is the marriage of private and public industry which is EXACTLY what bailouts are.

    and your support for German banks, Greece be damned, makes you a germanotsolia nazi 😉

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

  3. Anyone that claims that the EU and US is NOT “fascist”… and that “bailout” = “capitalism”… is a far right basket case or mentally ill germanotsolia like alex the nazi

    for anyone still confsued about where nazi alex’s true colors lie

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

  4. Nonense. You are the one that just finished saying illegals are “scapegoats” when most illegals are Greek hating fucking idiots that disrespected our borders. Only a time minority of them are legimiate refugees. The rest should be expelled.

    Unfortunately we have a hard time doing this as a nation because TREASONOUS far leftist buffoons like you keep calling everyone that tries to do anything about illegals “fascist”.

  5. “Only in the mind of far right fanatics or someone mentally ill does the term bailout not = fascism”

    If you seriously believe that, you need to be on medication.

  6. What in hades does an unemployment chart comparing Iceland with Greece have to do with “fascism:”

    Do you really believe the garbage you are spewing or just play pretending to troll other posters?

  7. um yes they are being used as scapegoats for the economic crisis by golden dawn nazis and yourself putting them front and center and not focusing on the real issues and causes of the crisis. that doesn’t mean i don’t support deporting all of them

    samaras doesn’t need the support from leftists, as they have no power, to deport them. he can do it just like he continues to sell out Greece to your sacred german banks, but he can’t because the illegal issue is economic in nature. fix the economy and you’ll fix the illegal issue, but samaras has trashed the economy to bailout your sacred german banks, and thus why he has had a hard time fixing the illegal issue. don’t you get it nazi.

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

  8. iceland said no to the status quo and didn’t bailout foreign banks like Greece. i know exactly what i’m talking about

    “Why do we consider banks to be like holy churches?” is the rhetorical question that Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimson asks (and answers) in this truly epic three minutes of truthiness from the farce that is the World Economic Forum in Davos. Amid a week of back-slapping and self-congratulatory party-outdoing, as John Aziz notes, the Icelandic President explains why his nation is growing strongly, why unemployment is negligible, and how they moved from the world’s poster-child for banking crisis 5 years ago to a thriving nation once again. Simply put, he says, “we didn’t follow the prevailing orthodoxies of the last 30 years in the Western world.” There are lessons here for everyone – as Grimson explains the process of creative destruction that remains much needed in Western economies – though we suspect his holographic pass for next year’s Swiss fun will be reneged…

    When it comes to the New Normal, there are just two precedents: complacent and doomed debt slaves, such as Greece, which continues to voluntarily hand over any and all of its real assets to the vampiric banking oligarchy in exchange for simply being the member of a doomed club, while trembling at constant threats of fire and brimstone if it dares to split away from its monetary parasites (and where unemployment rises by 3% in one quarter), or the rare success story such as Iceland, which showed the bankers a middle finger, took the red pill and disconnected from the globalization matrix. And while even Bloombergrecently extolled the virtues of the Iceland “case”, which will likely be solitary until the entire ponzi scheme comes crashing down, we are heartened when we observe all incremental milestones of further economic and financial success by the one country that dared to call the banker bluff, and won. Such as thispress release from the IMF.

    Iceland to Repay Early Some Outstanding Obligations to the IMF
    Press Release No.12/84
    March 15, 2012

    Iceland announced today that it repaid, ahead of schedule, obligations to the IMF amounting to some SDR 288.8 million (US$ 443.4 million). The payment was made on March 12.

    The early repayment is about one fifth of the SDR 1.4 billion (US$2.15 billion) that Iceland borrowed from the IMF under its Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) (see Press Release 08/296). The amounts repaid early are the obligations falling due in 2013 under the original repayment schedule.

    Together with a scheduled payment made in February 2012, this early repayment will reduce Iceland’s outstanding obligation to the IMF to SDR 1.041 billion (about US$1.60 billion). This outstanding balance is projected to be repaid during 2012-16.

    After this early repayment, and taking into account a similar early repayment of Iceland’s Nordic loans, reserve adequacy—as measured by the ratio of reserves-to-short term debt—will remain above the standard benchmark of 100 percent.

    Congratulations Iceland. We can only hope even one other country had the testicular fortitude to follow in your footsteps and realize that all hollow threats of mutual assured destruction if one dares to turn their back on the banking supercabal, are just that. Hollow.

  9. Fighting Recession the Icelandic Way

    Few countries blew up more spectacularly than Iceland in the 2008 financial crisis. The local stock market plunged 90 percent; unemployment rose ninefold; inflation shot to more than 18 percent; the country’s biggest banks all failed.

    This was no post-Lehman Brothers recession: It was a depression.

    Since then, Iceland has turned in a pretty impressive performance. After defaulting on its foreign debt, it repaid International Monetary Fund rescue loans ahead of schedule. Growth this year will be about 2.5 percent, better than most developed economies. Unemployment has fallen by half. In February, Fitch Ratings restored the country’s investment-grade status, approvingly citing its “unorthodox crisis policy response.”

    You can say that again. Iceland’s approach was the polar opposite of the U.S. and Europe, which rescued their banks and did little to aid indebted homeowners. Although lessons drawn fromIceland, with just 320,000 people and an economy based on fishing, aluminum production and tourism, might not be readily transferable to bigger countries, its rebound suggests there’s more than one way to recover from a financial meltdown.

    Nothing distinguishes Iceland as much as its aid to consumers. To homeowners with negative equity, the country offered write-offs that would wipe out debt above 110 percent of the property value. The government also provided means-tested subsidies to reduce mortgage-interest expenses: Those with lower earnings, less home equity and children were granted the most generous support.

    Debt Relief

    In June 2010, the nation’s Supreme Court gave debtors another break: Bank loans that were indexed to foreign currencies were declared illegal. Because the Icelandic krona plunged 80 percent during the crisis, the cost of repaying foreign debt more than doubled. The ruling let consumers repay the banks as if the loans were in krona.

    These policies helped consumers erase debt equal to 13 percent of Iceland’s $14 billion economy. Now, consumers have money to spend on other things. It is no accident that the IMF, which granted Iceland loans without imposing its usual austerity strictures, says the recovery is driven by domestic demand.

    In addition to easing consumer debt, Iceland reduced government spending and increased revenue by raising taxes and cutting deductions that mainly benefited the well-off, a path the U.S. might profitably emulate. In fact, relief for overburdened U.S. consumers is a cause promoted by former U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair in a new book published this week. Bair would have done more to aid sinking homeowners and done less for banks, but she says her efforts were blocked by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and others.

    It worked in Iceland. A deficit that reached 13.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 fell to 2.3 percent last year. The IMF predicts Iceland will have a primary surplus (excluding interest on debt) of 1.5 percent this year.

    As for the banking industry, Iceland never had an option to adopt the too-big-to-fail policy that led governments in the U.S. and Europe to prop up their banks. Assets held by Iceland’s three largest lenders had swelled to nine times the size of the economy. After they defaulted on $85 billion in debt, the government seized control of them.

    Initial plans to repay foreign creditors, mostly U.K. and Dutch depositors, collapsed in 2009 as street protests led to the demise of the government. Repayment of obligations to overseas creditors was either postponed or written off, leaving the reconstituted banks with much smaller domestic operations. Twice, Icelanders rejected national referendums on repaying foreign depositors, who are pressing their claims in European courts.

    Holding Accountable

    A new government led by Johanna Sigurdardottir embarked on a campaign to hold accountable the so-called neo-Viking bankers at the center of Iceland’s crisis. Instead of picking a prosecutor from law firms in Reykjavik, which had depended on the banks for business, the government drafted an investigator from a remote village. Although a number of bankers fled the country to avoid prosecution, the former chiefs of two of the three biggest banks have been indicted and are standing trial.

    Undoing the damage caused by the crisis is a work in progress; not every Icelandic innovation would be feasible in the U.S. or Europe. Iceland’s debt stands at almost 100 percent of GDP. Many of the country’s professionals have left for Norway and Denmark amid a dearth of jobs. Iceland still must figure out how to ease constraints that barred investors from withdrawing as much as $8 billion from the country and transferring it overseas. Inflation remains stubbornly high. To counter that, and to prevent capital flight, Iceland’s central bank has increased interest rates five times in the past year. But raising interest rates makes credit more expensive, checking growth.

    Iceland’s central bank on Sept. 18 released a report suggesting the country go slow with plans to enter the European Union, a process started in 2010 when the euro seemed sounder than the krona. Becoming a member won’t be easy: If the issue were put to a referendum, Icelanders would probably reject admission. And why would Iceland want to join now? Euro-member nations such as Greece and Ireland offer testimony to the risks of being yoked to a currency along with stronger economies.

    Devaluation of the kind Iceland suffered is never fun. Reneging on debts leaves a legacy of violated trust. But it still looks better than recession with no obvious way out.

  10. Iceland is a country of 250K. There problem was different (and much smaller) than ours. It was their banks that caused their problems not government overspending.

    In addition, Unlike us, Icelanders actually produce things on a per capita basis….thus can afford to spend more (per capita).

    Rest assured their banks were dramatically downsized… just like our government needs to be to finally balance budgets (a concept unfathomable to far leftist parasites like you that shameless want others to subsidize your lifestyle)

  11. I can cut an paste too.

    Anyone that claims that the EU and US is “fascist”… and that “bailout”
    = “fascism”… is a far leftist basket case or mentally ill.

  12. you can’t balance a budget with 30% unemployment and 65% youth unemployment caused by said bailouts and complete plundering of the country to save your german banks. the problem is very similar, not to mention Greece’s banks are/were just as bankrupt if not more.

  13. you can also die please you germanotsolia nazi

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie. booo hooooo those poor german banks.

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”

    please continue to believe that bailouts are capitalism and the solution

  14. Whatever you stay troll.

    Why don’t you show us a thesauraus or dictionary that uses the words bailout and fascism interchangeably as you do moron.

  15. show us where bailouts are capitalism nazi
    like i said, bailouts (the marriage of private and public sector) is a tenant of fascism not the entire thing.

  16. You claim myself, Samaras the EU, The US are “fascist”. We got it already troll.

    Perhaps you don’t grasp no one agrees with you other than your fellow far leftist buffoons and perhaps a few foreign nationalist with a bone to pick with Greeks (the far right Gruevski supporting Skopians hate Samaras just like you…. but love our far leftists!)

  17. I can cut and paste again too.

    Anyone that claims that the EU and US is “fascist”… and that “bailout” = “fascism”… is a far leftist basket case or mentally ill.

  18. what is your occupation nazi?

    i’d venture to say the most popular financial website in the world and a plethora of other people do agree with me

  19. yea because they can be competitive with their own currency, they told the banks that you love to piss off, and jailed those responsible, unlike Greece who voted those in most responsible (ND)

    you must hate this about iceland

    “Initial plans to repay foreign creditors, mostly U.K. and Dutch depositors, collapsed in 2009 as street protests led to the demise of the government. Repayment of obligations to overseas creditors was either postponed or written off, leaving the reconstituted banks with much smaller domestic operations. Twice, Icelanders rejected national referendums on repaying foreign depositors, who are pressing their claims in European courts.”

    and this is where that got them

  20. Except I don’t call anyone that disagree with me a commie. Its just you being a liar claiming that.

    I call far leftists far leftists when they behave like far leftists (e.g. far leftist fanatics like you that causually slander me, Samaras, the EU, US, and goodness knows how many other people as “fascist” because we disagree with your far leftist economic views)

    For instance, did it ever occur to your little far leftist pea-brain by cutting ERT we could put that money to other good uses?

    a. better health care for babies?

    b. lower taxes to make our businesses more competitive.

    c. fat paychecks for workers in government service we don’t actually need?

    Let me think, let me think.

  21. We are not the ones doing the bailing out here you moron. Its the Troika that are doing it in exchange for cuts. Those cuts, with our without the Troika demands were absolutely going to happen to reign in spending. The laws of mathematics could not be defeated for leftist narratives that there is ‘more money”. We cannot spend more than we produce.

  22. I agree Dublin II contributed but I stand by my point that far leftist extremism is chiefly responsible for most of our issues. Were it not for leftist resistence,
    a. there would be no problem with illegals. The right would quick deport them.
    b. Debt would be quickly under control (because we could make the cuts without worrying about a million communists out the street violently rioting
    c. We would become far far more business friendly. What do you think it says to the business world when our communists are out on the streets setting fire to buildings and calling for Euro-communism. Invest in Greece? Even as a Greek half the time I dont’ want to invest in Greece. Why so if some far leftist sh-t is going to come along and steal my families stuff to handout to himself and his buddies?
    I’m not taking about mixed economic but capitalist oriented liberals here. I’m taking about hard socialists and communists. Greece has never taken a sincere attempt at moderate capitalism yet they act as if we are a pure capitalist state. They live in some alternate universe.

  23. They didn’t tell anyone to piss off idiot. They just defaulted on their debts. If you believe they jailed everyone responsible than I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
    You also seem to have missed the bailout money we are receiving isn’t coming from you troll. Its coming from the German taxpayer (that is in no way or form responsible for our government debt mess)

  24. Yes. I can cut and paste too.
    You have no idea what left and right means you idiot. You call everyone that isn’t a far leftist extremist like yourself “fascist”. Incompetent far leftist fanatics like you are the exact problem Greece faces.

    Don’t you have other things to do like throw rocks at police and set fire to our businesses comrade?

  25. Only in the brain of slanderous far leftist fanatics like you do the terms “fascism” and “bailout” mean the same thing.

    As for your repeated claim that the myself, Samaras, the US, the EU, and basically anyone that isn’t a slanderous far leftist nutjob like you is ‘fascist”… your extreme rhetoric makes you closer to fascism than anyone of us troll.

  26. Well I’m sure all your communist friends agree with you.

    Is your “occupation” running out on the street like a madman throwing rocks at police and setting fire to our businesses like the communists constantly do? What a great strategy that is for creating jobs.

  27. yes you do.

    For instance, did it ever occur to your little far right pea-brain by cutting ERT Greece is using that money to

    a. hire samaras’ cronies who are currently at ert making 3500 euro a month at the new entity

    b. sell of ert’s assets and licensing rights to fascist digea at fire sale prices

    c. more german bank bailouts.

    don’t kid yourself, none of the savings, if anything is going to any noble cause just like it hasn’t been since the first iteration of the bailout.

  28. yes we are along with all of europe’s and the us’s middle class.

    those cuts are better to happen with an external devaluation with the drachma and a complete default while mainting FULL soveriegnty. the exact opposite of the current treasonous situation caused by samaras. we cannot survive under the current euro system. before your head explodes trying to refute me on the us middle class bailing out insolvent euro banks, please read below

    Last weekend Zero Hedge once again broke the news that just like back in June 2011, when as part of the launch of QE2 we demonstrated that all the incremental cash resulting form the $600 billion surge in the Fed’s excess reserves, had gone not to domestically-chartered US banks, but to subsidiaries of foreign banks operating on US soil. To be sure, various other secondary outlets picked up on the story without proper attribution, most notably the WSJ, which cited a Stone McCarthy report adding the caveat that “interpreting the data released by the Federal Reserve is a bit challenging” and also adding the usual incorrect attempts at interpretation for why this is happening. To the contrary: interpreting the data is quite simple, which is why we made an explicit prediction: ‘We urge readers to check the weekly status of the H.8 when it comes out every Friday night, and specifically line item 25 on page 18, as we have a sinking feeling that as the Fed creates $85 billion in reserves every month… it will do just one thing: hand the cash right over straight to still hopelessly insolvent European banks.” So with Friday having come and gone, we did just the check we suggested. As the chart below shows, we were right.

    Another way of showing what has happened: in the past 4 weeks, the Fed has injected a record $237 billion of cash into foreign banks with access to the Fed’s excess reserves: a number greater than both the cash influx surge seen after the Lehman collapse, and faster and more acute than the massive build up of cash during the spring and summer of 2011 when all the Fed’s brand new QE2 cash was once again, solely used to overfund European bank cash. way of showing precisely what we said would happen, and what is happening: in the past month, as $237 billion in cash was being handed over by Ben Bernanke to foreign banks, cash to both small and large domestically-chartered banks declined.

    The result is that of the record $1.8 trillion in cash sloshing within the US financial system (consisting of US and foreign banks), a record $955 billion, or 52.6% of total is now allocated to foreign banks.

    Do we know that the cash in the US financial system is purely a result of the latest open-ended QE? Yes we do, because as the chart below shows, every dollar change in excess reserves created by the Fed is tracked tick by tick by the total amount of cash held by US and foreign banks. And as the yellow area – foreign bank cash – in chart further shows, all the cash generated by QEternity has gone straight to foreign banks.

    Another way of showing this correlation: the change in excess reserves vs just the change in cash assets held by foreign banks. There is no doubt on which banks’ balance sheets the Fed’s “excess reserves” are appearing as cash.

  29. continued Finally, as a reminder there was a second part in our forecast as to what these European banks will do with this fresh prop-trade funding cash courtesy of Bernanke – they will “push the EURUSD higher, until, as in the summer of 2011 it goes far too high, crushes German, and any other net European exports, and precipitates yet another wholesale bailout of Europe by the global central bankers. Just as the Fed did in 2011.”
    Sure enough, it required the intervention of none other than Mario Draghi last Thursday to stop the massive, sharp ascent in the EUR in the past two months, which as we showed in the morning before the ECB’s announcement on Thursday, had resulted the EUR surge by over 10% on trade-weighted terms. The reason for this intervention: to prevent the collapse of what little is left of Europe’s export economy. However, unlike previously, now that Japan is also actively crushing its own currency to promote its exports over those from Germany and France, things will be just a little bit more acute as everyone scramble to be the exporter of only resort to what little import demand remains in a world where everyone is desperate to grow their trade balance through currency manipulation.

    So whether European banks will continue buying the EURUSD, or redirect their Fed-cash into purchasing the ES outright, or invest in other even riskier assets, remains unknown.

    What is, however, known beyond a reasonable doubt is that at least through this point, the sole beneficiary of the Fed’s open-ended quantitative easing which launched in September of 2012, and which was supposed to help lower US unemployment and raise inflation (it will certainly succeed in that eventually, and what a smashing success it will be), are once again solely foreign – read almost exclusively European – banks.

  30. yes they defaulted (immoral according to you) and told people ti piss off (your overlords)

    who went to jail in iceland

    Two of Iceland’s most senior former bankers have been jailed for making reckless business loans, following investigations stemming from the collapse of the country’s banks in 2008.

    Larus Welding, the former chief executive officer of failed Icelandic bank Glitnir, and Gudmundur Hjaltason, a former director at the bank, have each been sentenced to nine months in jail for fraud, a court ruled.

    They were sentenced by theReykjavik District Court after the two men were indicted a year ago on charges that they had “misused their position and grossly endangered the bank’s funds” by lending €102m to a company called Milestone ehf without guarantees or collateral, the prosecutor said. At the time Milestone was a shareholder in the bank.


    They are the first bankers fromIceland’s three largest lenders to be sentenced to jail for activities linked to the country’s financial and economic collapse in 2008.

    In 2008 Glitnir became the first of Iceland’s big banks to fail, an event that triggered the biggest recession in six decades and led to an 80pc collapse in the value of the Icelandic currency (Krona) against the euro.

    The scale of the country’s banking collapse made it impossible to prevent. The domestic parts of the country’s three biggest banks were saved, while their international arms were liquidated. Bondholders who had lent money to Iceland were “burned” with significant losses, but given control of the remains of the banks.

    Mr Welding has been indicted on separate charges for his role in approving a smaller business loan to holding company FS38 ehf, a company linked to the former high-profile former chief executive of the Baugur Group, Jon Asgeir Johannesson.

    Mr Johannesson, who has also been indicted in relation to the loan, became famous in business circles around the world in the years before the Icelandic crash for a debt-fuelled acquisition spree that included a string of high-profile retailers including department store chain House of Fraser, Hamleys toy shops, , frozen food chain Iceland, fashion chain All Saints andWoolworths.

    Iceland’s special prosecutor indicted the two former chief executives for their roles in approving the €35m loan just three months before the collapse of the bank. (Bloomberg)

    Two former executives at an Icelandic bank which collapsed in the 2008 financial meltdown were sentenced to jail on Friday for fraud which led to a 53 million euro loss, in the first major trial of Icelandic bankers linked to the crisis.

    All three of the small North Atlantic island’s top banks collapsed in quick succession in October 2008 due to big debts incurred during a rapid overseas expansion.

    Glitnir was the first to fall after the collapse of Lehman Brothers caused international credit markets to freeze up.

    A Reykjavik court sentenced Glitnir’s former chief executive, Larus Welding, and former head of corporate finance, Gudmundur Hjaltason, each to nine months in jail, of which six months were suspended for two years. They had denied the charges.

    Prosecutors said the two approved a loan to a company which owned shares in Glitnir so that the company could in turn repay a debt to Morgan Stanley.

    The decision, taken outside the regular decision-making process, meant Glitnir was too exposed to the company and cost the bank at least 53.7 million euros ($71 million), the prosecution said.

    The sentence was less than the jail terms of at least five years demanded by Iceland’s special prosecutor, who is looking into alleged wrongdoing connected to the crisis.

    “We have a conviction, which is of course the main thing,” prosecutor Holmsteinn Sigurdsson told reporters outside the courtroom when asked whether he was disappointed with the length of the sentence.

    The special prosecutor is also looking into alleged wrongdoing linked to the collapse of the other two former top banks, Landsbanki and Kaupthing. ($1 = 0.7563 euros) (Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson; Writing by Patrick Lannin in Stockholm; Editing by Pravin Char)

    among many more

  31. you obviously can’t read. i said bailouts are a tenant of fascism.

    you are a germantsolia nazi

    for anyone still confused about where nazi alex’s true colors lie. those poor german banks boo hoo hoo

    “Alex • 24 minutes ago

    You mean the German banks that were robbed (EMPHASIS ADDED) blind by thieving leftists like you that constantly shamelessly demand handouts from others?”
    Alex • 2 hours ago

    Of course defaulting is a matter of morality you idiot.

  32. so what do you do for a living other than hang out in your mom’s basement and try to ruin countries to protect your wall st cartel?

    what value have you ever added to society?

  33. More value than ranting self-destructive communist parasites like you ever will. Don’t you have a riot to go to or something troll? Shouldn’t you be using your time setting up Molitov cocktails to throw at police for the sake of “democracy”.

  34. Germans seem to be doing fine with capitalism (or more precisely mixed economies). South Koreans too.

    Your beloved communist North Koreans not so hot though.

  35. Yes. I can cut and paste to you lazy f-ck.

    I don’t take a word back you slanderous idiot.

    During WW2 Nazi Germans committed great atrocities against Greeks. However we are the ones that did wrong to Germans when it comes to our current debt problems (as well as everyone else we stiffed for money). They are in no shape or form to blame for us effectively stealing money from them troll.

    Far leftist buffoons like you are such lying low lifes you have no concern for justice. All you can do is shamelessly perpetually rant for handouts. You take no moral responsibility for your own life and mistakes. Everyone else is to blame for your personal economic problems.

    Virtually every major policy you come on here to rant in support of harms Greece and Greek people. Blabbering far leftists Idiots like you are exactly what is wrong with Greece. Do the Greek people a favour and move to your far leftist utopia of “Democratic” North Korea.

  36. Don’t make me laugh. You are no economist my friend. You just spit out words but have little understanding what they actually mean.

  37. What value have you ever added to society other than rant fascism at greeks and support far leftist extremism? Are you sure your not a Skopian? The Skopians support all your causes.

  38. The communist thugs are out in the streets ranting murder for an organization we certainly have no need for. Of what is use is ert in the digital and internet age where thousands of channels are available? (other than as an outlet for far leftist to blabber their propanda…. at taxpayer expense)

    Doesn’t it make more sense to cut the government propaganda entirely and save our money for better things? You know… better heathcare… better schools.

    Does anyone stop lAndy writing his leftist gibberish online…but on his own dime not out of the pockets of taxpayers that might not subscribe to his personal political views?

  39. .None of you commie anti-capitalist rants has anything to do with Greek state borrowing and spending to much money.

  40. Far more tha nrunning out on the street like a madman throwing
    rocks at police and setting fire to our businesses like the commie loving idiots. What a great strategy that is for creating jobs.




  41. You are full of sh-t. Bailouts have nothing to do with “fascism”. Far leftist fanatics like you just use the word Nazi and fascism to tar your political opponents.

  42. Not paying one’s debts back is IMMORAL according to everyone you deadbeat far leftist thug.

    Why don’t you give your money to others rather than demand others give their money to you hypocritical POS?

  43. Samaras is not the problem. He is taking hard steps that are part of the solution .

    The problem is to be found in the 50% of our population that are far leftist extremists that have learned to see government as their mommy’s allowance. Rather than focus on getting an education and showing some entrepreneurial spirit… they are out of the streets shameless rioting for handouts, setting fire to our businesses, throwing rocks at police, terrorizing anyone that dares to be pro-business as “fascist”.

    This uncivilized irrational behavior does not produce wealth. It destroys wealth. 100% equal distribution of nothing still equals nothing. First and foremost we need to produce things.

  44. Not that corruption and dublin 2 didn’t also play a part but he asked for root cause. A, B and C points all still stand.