German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it would be a Ã¢â‚¬Å“scandalÃ¢â‚¬Â if banks helped Greece massage its budget, as European officials investigate Goldman Sachs Group Inc.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s role in Greek efforts to conceal the size of its deficit.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a scandal if it turned out that the same banks that brought us to the brink of the abyss helped fake the statistics,Ã¢â‚¬Â Merkel said in a speech in northern Germany late yesterday, without naming Goldman Sachs directly. Greece Ã¢â‚¬Å“falsified statistics for years.Ã¢â‚¬Â
MerkelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comments came as her government questioned whether Goldman Sachs, Wall StreetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most-profitable securities firm, helped Greece hide its deficit as it struggled to comply with European Union limits. Michael Meister, financial affairs spokesman for MerkelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Christian Democratic Union, said Feb. 15 that a swap agreement managed by New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2002 Ã¢â‚¬Å“broke the spirit of the Maastricht Treaty.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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