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Eurogroup studies more billions for Greece

brussels bureau

Eurogroup studies more billions for Greece


A new financial bailout for Greece is under scrutiny by the Eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels.

Greece on Monday became the lowest-rated sovereign borrower in the world, according to Standard & Poor’s, which said any attempt to restructure the country’s debt would be considered a default.

With its borrowing costs having hit a euro-era high, and amid talk of a deal for another 120 billion euros for Greece, the Eurogroup’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: “All options are open.”

The European Central Bank’s President Jean-Claude Trichet said it will only back private investor involvement in a new rescue if that is strictly voluntary.

A big worry is to avoid further trouble for other debt-bloated euro countries, yet some analysts are pointed in their criticism of the finance ministers.

Yanis Varoufakis of Athens University said: “I think it’s an exercise in collective failure at coordinating. It is an exercise at trying to find euphemisms for things they do not want to come clean about, like the debt restructure. Now they have new terms for it: ‘rollover, reprofiling’. It’s more like a linguist convention than a finance ministers’ attempt to get something done.”

The European Union’s leaders at an upcoming summit are due to finalise a new deal for Greece, with funds from the EU, the IMF, Greek privatisation receipts and private investment. The formula is still to be decided.

Many analysts say that restructuring will probably mean creditors taking losses in the long term.

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