what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Prohibition of short selling and credit default swaps

Two financial products exacerbated the euro crisis during its first few years.

Firstly, several speculators bought uncovered credit default swaps (CDSs) for bonds issued by crisis countries. In simple terms this is tantamount to buying life insurance to cover the imminent death of someone else, the difference being that when large numbers of speculators buy CDSs this can actually undermine confidence even further, potentially 'aggravating the illness'.

Secondly, traders sold bonds issued by crisis countries without actually owning them, hoping that the securities in question would become cheaper, enabling them to earn profits on the price difference.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that both these practices are harmful. And whilst they are not the root cause of the crisis, they have effectively raised the cost of bail-outs for crisis countries throughout the entire EU.

Given the high risks associated with uncovered CDSs, the Greens are calling for a ban on CDSs.

We believe that European supervisors, in a coordinated approach, should urge their national counterparts to ban them temporarily. If these national supervisors neglect to act, even though European financial stability is at stake, the European supervisor should intervene directly.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens succeeded in defending the strong Commission proposal against the ECR (including British Tories) and amendments submitted by the Liberal ALDE, who had clearly been lobbied by the financial industry.


Which points did the Greens lose?

The Greens were unable to ensure that the text retained a proposal on buy-in procedures and fines for late settlements of naked short-selling.

This proposal concerned failed short-selling transactions, where the short-selling party was unable to meet its obligations.

Press & Events

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:Pascal Canfin (GREENS/EFA

Green MEP responsible:Pascal Canfin


Staff contact:Francisco Padilla (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?