GREECE - The largest union in Greece has called a nationwide strike on May 15 in response to government handling of dubious bond purchases by pension funds.

"The aim of the strike is to protect social security and workers' pension entitlements," the GSEE union - which represents some 2m private sector workers - said in a statement quoted by Associated Press.

The union blames the conservative government for not preventing the loss suffered by investors, including the pension fund for civil servants TEADY, due to overpriced bond purchases.

In March it had emerged that TEADY had overpaid €5m for a structured bond product. The fund's head had since stepped down and been replaced.

The bond had gone through various brokers before being bought by the fund. Reuters reports that JPMorgan, which underwrote the bond, has offered to buy back the Greek state bond. The investment company also stated other involved in the sale would do the same to protect the interest of the Greek state and the pension fund.

In the wake of the scandal the government put in new pension fund legislation which includes compulsory social security or pension fund experience for heads of state-run pension funds.