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Carthy forces ECB to reveal it profited by 73 billion from eurozone misery

19 April, 2019 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Carthy forces ECB to reveal it profited by 73 billion from eurozone misery

 

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed the increased transparency at the ECB that he was instrumental in achieving, but condemned the organisation for making massive profits from the peripheral economies during the darkest days of the Eurozone crisis. 

 

Carthy successfully amended a European Parliament report responding to the ECB’s Annual Report 2017, demanding the the ECB “disclose the full amounts of profits made by the Eurosystem through ANFAs and SMP from 2010 until the full expiration of he programme, with a specific breakdown per countries which have been subject to SMP purchases (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy)”. He tabled the amendment jointly with Belgian Green MEP Philippe Lamberts.

 

Speaking today, Friday, Carthy said: “After years of fighting in the European Parliament for increased transparency over ECB decisions and policies, strongly supported by civil society organisations – particularly Positive Money – we now have access to the figures the ECB previously kept secret.

 

“What was long suspected – that the ECB has been profiting from the Securities Market Programme (SMP) it used to purchase 218 billion euros of bonds from the peripheral economies at the height of the sovereign debt crisis – has now been confirmed. 

 

“The shocking figures in the new data from the ECB reveal that from 2010, the ECB has made 73 billions euros in profits on debt lent to Spain, Ireland, Italy, Ireland and Greece at the height of the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis – a crisis that the ECB in fact played a major role in creating. 

 

“This includes the ECB making profits of almost 6 billion euros from Ireland under the SMP. The supposed ‘rescue mission’ of the ECB in purchasing country’s bonds turned into a massive profit-making venture.

 

“The ECB was bound to provide this data under its obligation to provide ‘feedback’ to the European Parliament’s annual report on the ECB. I welcome the fact that the majority of MEPs backed my amendment demanding the release of this information, and that the ECB actually provided it. 

 

“But it is the totally unaccountable Eurogroup, which does not even have any basis in EU law, that makes decisions on any refunds to Member States of these funds. The Eurogroup is notorious for its point-blank refusal to be subjected to any form of public scrutiny and has refused to provide any information on this whatsoever.

 

“I and other progressive MEPs have been backing the WeMoveEU and Eurodad campaign – supported by almost 150,000 EU citizens – demanding the full return of the profits made out of the SMP and ANFA programmes to Greece, after its fiscal waterboarding by the Troika.

 

“Every cent of profit that the ECB has sucked from the countries worst affected by the crisis, in their hour of need, must be returned to those countries in full and without delay.” ENDS

 

Note to editors: 

The ECB's feedback document is here: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/ecb.20190401_feedback_on_the_input_provided_by_the_european_parliament~4bb38cfab0.en.pdf?8a3e7a59fb072f5f3c6d4054cf8372fc

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