Some skeptical market players predicted the end of securitization as a means of sovereign finance in Europe following the implementation of Eurostat's new, more stringent guidelines on how governments must account for their securitizations. A $6.9 billion Italian real estate deal that launched at the end of last year, however, proved that there are ways to adhere to and structure within the new regulations while maintaining the profitable benefits of securitization.
In 2001, both the Italian and Greek governments executed a series of sovereign transactions. Both governments used securitization as a way to reduce their debt levels, which aided them in achieving the Maastricht debt targets. As a result, sovereign securitizations were expected to take flight in 2002, with expectations that neighboring European jurisdictions dealing with similar debt reduction techniques, outlined by the Maastricht criteria, would follow the Greek and Italian lead.