Resistance and Difficulties Persist in Greece Debt Swap Talks

Resistance and difficulties still exist between Greece and its private bondholders on a number of issues in talks for a new debt swap plan, the deputy finance minister was quoted as saying on Friday.

Yannis Mourmouras, one of three deputy finance ministers, said in an interview with the financial newspaper Imerisia that he hoped a compromise could be reached on the issues on which there was still ‘friction.’

He cited as an example ‘the new bonds or coupon, which Greece will issue, but also on other topics such as the recapitalization of the local banking system.’

Mourmouras said, ‘It seems there is convergence on several issues, for example on Collective Action Clauses and on preferred creditor status.’

Finance Minister Evagelos Venizelos told parliament Thursday that talks on the plan had entered a crucial phase ‘with difficulties,’ with banks determined to hold their ground.

He said that negotiations on the new private sector involvement plan, or PSI, were tough. ‘On a daily basis, night and day, PSI is being negotiated, with great difficulties, which I am not able to talk about – I should have been able to, for Greek citizens to know what is happening.’

Newspaper reports said lenders are trying to ensure that their losses will not exceed 50 per cent, the rate agreed to at a eurozone summit on October 27, while an agreement has yet to be reached on issues such as the maturities and the interest rate of the new bonds.

The plan is intended to cut Greece’s debt by 100 billion euros, allowing it to bring its debt down from 160 per cent of gross domestic product to 120 per cent by 2020.

(source: DPA)


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