Germany ready to grant further aid to Greece

Auto Date Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

While the rating agency Fitch on Friday downgraded the rating of long-term debt of Greece, and the French minister Christine Lagarde asked Athens to take further fiscal austerity measures, the German finance minister speaks the ability to offer additional assistance to Greece.

In an interview published Sunday by the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Wolfgang Schäuble believes that steps could be taken for the country if his efforts fail to reduce its debt. This additional support "is only conceivable if it is confirmed that the private creditors such as banks, do not opt ​​out of Greece, leaving European taxpayers to take full responsibility," said the German minister nonetheless. He believes that the creditor countries of Greece must first ensure that Athens is able to overcome its economic difficulties."Only in this case we could, if necessary, discuss an extension (the maturity) bonds that Greece should pay next year," says he.

The inspection visit, arriving in early to ensure that Athens respects the conditions attached to the bailout 110 billion made in the country, had to extend his stay. Officials hope it will make its findings next week but no date has been set. Wolfgang Schäuble also said that the decision to give an additional boost will require the approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and especially that of centrel Bank (ECB).On Friday, the IMF has in effect called the euro area to urgently adopt a more comprehensive range of measures to resolve the debt crisis, but some resistance has emerged towards the ECB.

'Soft' restructuring

George Papandreou, the Greek Minister Pemi must submit on Monday a multi-year plan with new measures to strengthen the fiscal consolidation of the country. He hopes to escape the restructuring of the enormous debt that he does not want to hear aujoud'hui, but that markets demand. Unlike the ECB, they are convinced that Athens can not solve its problems by merely the emergency loan of 110 billion euros already granted by euro zone countries and the IMF. Despite a big effort to reduce the deficit last year (five points of GDP), Greece is indeed still in a critical budget situation.

The leader of the finance ministers of the eurozone, Jean-Claude Juncker, is the promoter for this week of a 'soft' restructuring through debt rescheduling. He pleaded over the weekend for the creation of an independent umbrella of the Greek government's privatization program in the country. Athens has planned about 50 billion euros from privatizations in 2015, whose income must be allocated to debt reduction. This option is opposed by the European Central Bank (ECB), fearing that the outright failure of Greek banks, and chain reactions throughout Europe.Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF, was also on the same line.

Determined to "save" his country that he says can work it through his own efforts, George Papandreou is due to visit Paris this week, Tuesday and meet with key political leaders of his country to reach a consensus on measures to be taken to cope with the crisis. This agreement required by the countries of the euro area, however, looks difficult to obtain, the prime minister faced with a sling, even within his own party.

(With agencies)

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