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Government back commission to look at handling of Hypo

Coalition partners SPÖ and ÖVP keen to avoid a full investigation into the management of lender Hypo Alpe Adria since it was nationalised in 2009 have backed the idea of getting a commission of experts to look into the case.

Opposition parties have called for an investigation into the handling of Hypo's debts since it was taken over from owners German bank BayernLB by the government, a coalition made up of the same parties that rule today.

Central Bank Governor Ewald Nowotny has called for a "council of wise people" to look at the situation, an option that Chancellor Werner Faymann (SPÖ) has said he supports.

Criticisms have been levied at the government for making taxpayers pay around 4.8 billion Euros in state aid since 2008, with a further 4 billion likely to be made over the coming years.

Ailing bank Hypo was nationalised in 2009 to prevent it from collapsing, an impact that would have been felt globally, after it had racked up billions in toxic assets. The State of Carinthia owed the bank nearly 13 billion in guarantees, which it's refusal to honour forced a national takeover.

Now the government is deciding how to deal with Hypo, including considering the option of creating a bad bank state vehicle that would absorb the assets. Other approaches could be to allow the bank to go insolvent although some people have warned against this.

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