emg home
Fitch downgrades Greece further into junk status Dinar continues to grow against euro, NBS begins buying strong currency Turkey hosts conference on revaluation of security in South Caucasus EU and EFSF funding plans to provide financial assistance for Portugal and Ireland Premiers of CIS states fail to agree on draft of free trade deal Putin says deal on Eurasian Economic Union must be ready by 2013 IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns Norway freezes $42 mln payment to Greece Greece: 62 percent opposed to the memorandum FM Droutsas: the Greek people do not deserve unconstructive criticism HDZ, SDP and HNS comment on EU monitoring of Croatia South Steam shareholders to strike new agreement in 2011 Austria to continue investing in BiH, 48 mln loan at disposal Albania: CEC restarts counting process, tensions rise EU confirms postponement of Barroso’s visit to Tirana Brammertz : Insufficient effort to locate Mladic and Hadzic Single excise tax for petrol, diesel fuel to be introduced Investment opportunities in textile industry Remains of 48 Serbian nationals killed in operation Bljesak exhumed Dacic to meet with Swedish Ambassador, DCAF Director Year of 2011 is crucial for Serbia's European integration EU Information Centre opens in Belgrade Stefanovic: Northern Kosovo is key to solution National employment strategy for 2011-2020 adopted Jutanji List: Croatia to join EU on July 1, 2013 Dodik: Parliament to discuss cancellation of decision on referendum Krkobabic and Jaeger: Pension system should be improved Dulic announces construction of 7,700 apartments Court bans Worldfin from managing and selling Luka Beograd EULEX does not want KPS assistance in actions in northern Kosovo Investment funds in Serbia finish 2010 in black Serbia and Egypt sign plan for military cooperation for 2011

EU heads towards "soft restructuring" for Greece

18. May 2011. | 08:02

Source: EUbusiness.com

Leading eurozone policy-maker Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday that a "soft restructuring" of Greece's 330-billion-euro debts is a possibility as an EU-IMF mission in Athens was extended by one week.

Leading eurozone policy-maker Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday that a "soft restructuring" of Greece's 330-billion-euro debts is a possibility as an EU-IMF mission in Athens was extended by one week.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker told a finance conference in Brussels that coincided with a second day of European Union talks on the recurrent Greek crisis, that a re-negotiation of Greek debt was gradually coming into play.

But experts on a mission in Athens first will seek to obtain details on Greek government plans to privatise state assets. The EU and IMF have demanded Athens raise 50 billion euros via a massive sale of state-owned ports and other facilities so as to restore its public finances to health.

"If Greece makes all these efforts, then we must see if it is possible to make a soft restructuring of Greek debt," Juncker said at the conference.

At the same time, he added: "I am strictly opposed to a major restructuring of Greek debt."

EU Economic Affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said Athens had committed to closing gaps in its budget targets "in the coming days," having already taken painful measures to save 20 billion euros ($38 billion) in the 12 months since its 110-billion-euro bailout last May.

Rehn claimed Greece could reduce its public debt by more than 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015 if the 50-billion-euro sales target is achieved and termed the privatisation programme the "cornerstone of recovery."

Fifteen billion euros was supposed to be raised this year and next under the existing EU-IMF programme bailout plan, Rehn noted.

He called on Greek opposition parties to put aside their differences and fully back "decisive steps in the coming days" that he said are "indispensable before the Eurogroup can look into further steps possible to ensure that Greece is on a sustainable path."

The EU-IMF experts were expected to report back in early June to flesh out scenarios mapped out at this week's ministerial talks ahead of a full summit of European Union leaders on June 24.

German Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen said the expert mission, scheduled to end Wednesday, would probably require an additional seven days.

Diplomats stressed Tuesday that Greece has made "zero" progress, with planned sell-offs for the three months to end-June already put back into the second half of the year.

"Soft" debt restructuring is understood as lengthening repayment schedules and easing interest rates paid on the debt.

A so-called "hard" restructuring is considered to mean states writing off a part of their debt, the route followed by Argentina or Mexico among the more notorious defaults in the recent past.

Economic experts believe an outright default could have serious repercussions for the whole of the eurozone where Ireland and Portugal have also had to be bailed out after Greece sought help in May last year.

Greece's debts are currently running at more than a year-and-a-half of all the country's economic output.


My Web

Enter text:


16. May - 22. May 2011.