Anger is mounting in Germany as private investors claim they have been forced into a fraudulent scheme after being advised to buy Greek sovereign bonds. The investment turned out to be unsafe after the latest move to save the country from default.
German pensioners were advised to invest money into Greek bonds to secure some cash for retirement. They were guaranteed their money was protected by the Greek government. Now they see their retirement savings disappearing at the stroke of a pen to stem Greece’s financial chaos.
Putting money into sovereign bonds is supposed to be one of the safest ways of investment, but apparently not when it comes to Greece.
Greece’s recent debt swap, which cut the country’s financial burden by more than 100 billion euros, swallowed the pensioners’ money.
“They are looking for people like me – old, retired, with grey hair and short of the hospital maybe, and then here you have no risk,” realized Peter Moritz, former banker and private investor who feels he was outplayed at his own game.
Lawyer Matthias Gröpper says that “These investments are usually money for retirement, family support or medical treatment. In many cases these people are very dependent on it.”
Now German investors are getting ready to sue the banks for what they claim was fraudulent advice and the governments of both Greece and Germany for not fulfilling their obligations.
“There is an agreement between Greece and Germany that this money is secure from political risks. It’s really unclear, why private investors should be responsible for political games,” lawyer Elena Mayer told RT.
Brussels is aiming to reduce Greece’s debt from 160 to 120 percent of GDP by 2020. And the long-term plan is supposed to attract over 95 percent of private investors like Peter Moritz, who once bought Greek bonds.
In Greece, constant austerity measures and hard-hearted banking policies are already pushing some ordinary citizens to go to the most extreme forms of protest, like self-immolation. In turn, to keep Greece from completely going under, Brussels is also taking action, which is hitting the pockets of Europeans outside the Greek state.