Wednesday

22nd Nov 2017

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.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban