Pröll defends nationalisation of Hypo

Former vice chancellor and finance minister Josef Pröll (ÖVP) defended the emergency nationalisation of the Carinthian bank Hypo Alpe Adria (2009) in the hearing of the Bavarian Landesbank (BayernLB) against the fund Hypo Alpe Adria Mitarbeiter Privatstiftung (MAPS) at the commercial court of Vienna.

BayernLB made sales contracts in regards to Hypo shares with MAPS in 2007. However, they felt that the MAPS maliciously deceived them about their capital resources and thus challenged the contracts.

Apparently, the equity capital of the MAPS was accounted too high by around 150 million Euros. The MAPS, however, refutes these accusations.

Mr Pröll could not say anything about details of the contract in regards to the emergency nationalisation as experts were in charge of that. He said that he was involved in the political negotiations of the nationalisation on the weekend of 12/13 December 2009.

At that time, the situation at the Hypo got worse. The previous owners invested around one million Euros of capital and 3.6 billion Euros of liquidity, Mr Pröll went on.

The second witness was Mr Schieder who has been Financial Secretary of the state since 2009 and who was also involved in the nationalisation of the bank.

Apparently, the negotiators were “under a lot of pressure”. The European Central Bank called and said that no European bank should become bankrupt and Hypo Alpe Adria should open again on Monday.

Similar to Mr Pröll, Mr Schieder said that he was only involved in the political negotiations and the wording of the contract was carried out by the Federal Attorney’s Office.