More (‘Weimar Republic’) EU billions for Greece!:
– Eurozone gesteht Athen weitere Milliarden zu (Handelsblatt):
Griechenland kann in den kommenden zwei Jahren mit einem weiteren zweistelligen Milliarden-Darlehen der Eurostaaten rechnen. Das erfuhr das Handelsblatt aus Eurozonen-Kreisen in Brüssel.
Die genaue Höhe des zusätzlichen Darlehens ist noch offen, in Brüssel wird von einem Betrag von bis zu 60 Milliarden gesprochen. Derzeit sei eine Finanzierungslücke von 25 bis 30 Milliarden im nächsten Jahr absehbar. Diese Lücke könnte aber noch größer werden, wenn die Haushaltskonsolidierung in Griechenland weiterhin so schleppend verläuft wie bisher. Auf dieses Risiko müsse sich die Eurozone einstellen, hieß es in Brüssel.
Greece has conceded it may need more help beyond last year’s €110bn (£95bn) bailout on fears that the country will be unable to return to the markets to refinance its debts in 2012.
European leaders are preparing to let Greece use Brussels’ emergency funding mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), to roll over its maturing debts. The embattled Mediterranean nation needs to raise an estimated €22bn next year to meet repayments that are not covered by the current rescue package.
The alternative would be a “soft” restructuring that would see the terms of the investors’ loans lengthened and the interest rate reduced, but Brussels is keen to avoid that.
Greece’s options were debated at a summit in Luxembourg with leading European nations over the weekend. As well as access to the EFSF, Brussels and the International Monetary Fund are believed to be considering easing the terms of the original bail–out for a second time, by extending the three–year package for longer.
The “troika” of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF are this week expected to discuss an extension of the programme during a monitoring mission to Athens. Finance ministers emerged from the weekend meeting in sombre mood. Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said: “The markets continue to disbelieve in our country.
We now have to complete procedures for borrowing in 2012 and 2013 from the temporary European mechanism.”
Norbert Barthle, budget spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling party, added: “We’ll just have to bite the bullet. We need to help Greece help itself. What’s the alternative? We don’t want to be pushed over the edge into restructuring.”
All parties stressed that rumours that Greece could leave the euro entirely and reinstate the drachma were completely inaccurate. However, some European nations were said to want Greece to put up quality collateral for access to the EFSF.
George Osborne insisted that the UK would not be dragged into another bail–out. “We certainly don’t want to be part of any bail–out of Greece,” he said. “The only time we’ve ever actually written a cheque from the British taxpayer to someone else has been over Ireland and that is because of the close links with Ireland.
“I can’t see us ever writing a cheque directly from the British taxpayer to the Greeks or the Portuguese or anyone else. Ireland was a special case.”
Irish politicians seized on Greece’s troubles to raise the prospect of wringing concessions out of Europe over its own rescue package, financed with €67.5bn of outside support.
By Philip Aldrick 6:16AM BST 09 May 2011
Source: The Telegraph