THE European Central Bank (ECB) has made an eye-popping profit of £7.2billion from the Greek debt crisis, it has been revealed.

The extraordinary figure will enrage cash-strapped Greeks who have lived under crushing austerity measures for seven years.

And analysts claim the ECB’s involvement in Greece’s bailout has created a shocking conflict of interest.

Leo Hoffman-Axthelm at Transparency International said: “The ECB expects repayments on its Greek bonds with one hand while approving Greece’s reform progress with the other.

“The Bank is literally sitting at all sides of the table.”

The cash – interest payments from holdings of Greek sovereign bonds acquired under the ECB’s Securities and Markets bond-buying programme (SMP) – will now be redistributed to across all 19-country central banks in the eurozone.

The SMP programme was launched at the start of the eurozone’s debt crisis in 2010 and ramped up to include Italian and Spanish government debt in 2011.


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