Greece Planning €19B ‘Safety Net’ to Avoid More Loans



Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (foreground) with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (R) (file photo)

Greece is drawing up plans for its own €19-billion ‘safety net’, to avoid the need for more credit from international lenders, Athens’ finance minister has said.

Euclid Tsakalotos said the government wanted a clean break from its bailout program later this year, and added it would use leftover bailout funds and bond issues to avoid a new credit line, which would come with conditions attached.

His interview on Wednesday with the Reuters news agency, came as news broke of Greek six-month T-bills’ yield falling to 1.13 percent.

Greece’s debt agency PDMA said it had sold 813 million ($1.01 billion) in the bills on Wednesday.

Tsakalotos claimed the Greek fund would see the country through for 12 months, and maintained that the government was drawing up post-bailout plans to build reforms and encourage growth.

Greece’s governance has come in for recent criticism from Thomas Wieser, outgoing president of the Eurogroup Working Group, who has said the country’s crisis was administrative, not fiscal.

Wednesday’s interview also came as German media reported Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras being hopeful that a grand coalition government in Berlin — with a Social Democrat finance minister — will help Greece’s case for debt relief.

However, the Eurogroup has already warned that Greece must complete its bailout program before any debt relief.

Last month new Eurogroup president Mario Centeno told CNBC there are still “some intermediate steps” before debt restructuring talks with Greece begin.