Monday

23rd Apr 2018

Eurozone fund chief dashes Greek hopes for debt deal

Greece's hopes for another debt deal aimed at helping it exit the bailout programme at the end of 2014 are not realistic, Klaus Regling, the head of eurozone's bailout fund (ESM), told Spiegel magazine.

"There will be no debt restructuring," Regling said.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • ESM chief Klaus Regling is sceptical about Greece exiting the bailout programme

The ESM is Greece's largest creditor, with €133 billion in 30-year loans already disbursed at an interest rate of 1.5 percent.

"The interest on these loans was deferred for the next ten years. All this equals a debt restructuring, from an economic point of view," Regling said.

There is also very little room for change with other creditors. The International Monetary Fund - contributing €27.2 billion to Greece's bailout - is not allowed to lower its interest rate.

"There may be some little room for manoeuvre in the bilateral loans from the first bailout package. But that is up to eurozone member states to decide, they are the creditors there," Regling said.

Greek foreign minister Evangelos Venizelos, who also served as finance minister when the bailout terms were negotiated, has warned that his coalition government may be toppled and replaced by anti-bailout parties if Greece does not get a debt deal this year.

"It is not about another debt restructuring. It's about making the debt burden sustainable (...) for instance by prolonging the repayment deadlines and reducing the interest rates," Venizelos told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday.

He warned that if Greece would be forced out of the eurozone, this would become a "threat to the German taxpayer" and therefore it was "in the common European interest for Greece to successfully exit the bailout programme."

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in his New Years' speech promised that his country would exit the bailout in 2014.

In December, he sought a debt deal with fellow EU leaders, but his efforts proved unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the troika of lenders - IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank - has delayed a report allowing for the next bailout tranche to be paid out because of disagreements over the 2014 budget.

Greece was the first eurozone country to seek a bailout in 2010 - first via bilateral loans, then in two successive EU-IMF programmes - totalling €240 billion in 2012. Its debt burden stood at 190 percent of GDP in 2013, while its economy was still in deep recession and over a quarter of its workforce was jobless.

Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  2. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  3. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  4. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  5. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  6. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  7. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  8. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes