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PRESS RELEASE


European Central Bank Is Sued over Decision To Freeze Help to Greek Banks

Dec. 19, 2017 (EIRNS)—Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and a German European Parliament Member Fabio de Masi (Die Linke party) are suing the European Central Bank to gain access to documentation of the reasoning behind ECB’s decision to freeze vital funding to Greek banks in 2015, which the plaintiffs contend was illegal.

"By restricting liquidity to the Greek banking sector to force cuts in pensions, tax increases and fire-sale privatizations, the ECB overstepped its mandate,"

De Masi said.

Following the refusal of the ECB to release the document, they turned to the General Court of the European Union to obtain it.

An ECB spokesman said that a legal opinion preceded the decision to withhold funding by at least two months. The ECB decided not to disclose it to protect its legal advisors and its internal deliberations, he said.

"There is an overriding public interest in knowing how far the ECB ... weighed different goals against each other and how they themselves and their legal experts have interpreted the legal framework in this respect,"

the complainants’ lawyer Andreas Fischer-Lescano said in the appeal.