As I posted to this blog a few days ago, the European Commission has temporarily approved the rescue aid for SNS Reaal. But that was to be expected in a sense. More interesting was yesterday’s statement by the Raad van State on whether or not the nationalization was legal. The NRC newspaper reported extensively on this, but again only in Dutch (in English here, on Reuters). In short, the nationalization is legal, and also the expropriation of shares and subordinated (junior) bonds /participation certificates is legal. But the Raad van State clearly states that this would not be legal for future expropriations, if the Dutch State would want to attempt such a thing. The core reason for the legality is the importance of SNS to the Dutch financial system (‘systeembank’).
Another bit of news relates to the FNV labour union federation, which I wrote about here. The same statement by the Raad van State argues that also the expropriation of the loan by FNV to SNS in the process of the nationalization was legal. This means FNV has lost about 20 million euros. The federation wishes to claim damages from the Dutch state but the Dutch Finance minister has announced this will not be honoured (or to be precise – the damages paid will be zero euros.)