EU poised for Greece crisis talks April 25, 2011Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Yunanistan.
Tags: Athens, EU, Greece, Greece Crisis, international monetary official
A delegation of leading European and international monetary officials are planning a crisis summit in Athens in May amid growing fears that Greece may default on its sovereign debt.
Senior officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are expected to make a “lightning visit” for two days to ensure Greece can meet plans to cut its deficit by €24bn (£21bn). The trip is being planned for May 9, although insiders said this could be brought forward to May 5.
George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, and other Greek officials have this weekend strongly denied rumours that Greece may be forced to restructure its debt imminently – possibly as early as this weekend.
A year after Greece was forced to accept €110bn (£97bn) of financial aid from the EU and IMF, Greek government spokesman George Petalotis denied “the persisting international reports about a restructuring of the debt”. George Papaconstantinou, the Greek finance minister, said that a restructuring or an extension of any of the €340bn national debt, which is set to hit 160pc of GDP by next year, was out of the question.
However, Greek news channels have continued to broadcast the rumours. The biggest network, Mega TV, on Saturday reported a government official saying that “in the worst of cases, a rearrangement rather than a restructuring will take place in the future, featuring an extension of the repayment period for the loan, as has been granted for other countries”.
The influential newspaper To Vima reported that, in addition to the lengthening of deadlines for repayment instalments, Greece might seek a 30pc reduction in the debt itself. But it said such a decision might take “up to six months”.