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Germany opposes long-term interest guarantees for Greece: Der Spiegel

WORLD
By Reuters | May 14th 2016
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble addresses a news conference at the G7 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Dresden, Germany, May 29, 2015.

GERMANY: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble does not want to provide debt relief to Greece through long-term interest rate guarantees, according to an unsourced report published on Friday in the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Schaeuble has rejected a proposal from the euro bailout fund to cap interest rates on Greek debt at 2 percent until 2050, regardless of how debt develops with credit market trends, according to the weekly.

However, the minister is open to discussing longer debt payment schedules, lower interest rates and deferred payments, but only in 2018 when the Greek reform package is completed, the magazine reported. The ministry declined comment on the report.

At the start of the week, euro zone finance ministers had agreed to try and reach a final agreement on a review of Greek reforms by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank and European Commission on May 24 and opened debt relief talks.

Depending on the outcome of the discussions, fresh funds from the third bailout package of up to 86 billion euros ($97.3 billion) could be transferred to Greece. The ministers also agreed on the possibility of relief for Greek debts in excess of 300 billion euros, should this be necessary.

(This version of the story corrects year in paragraph two to 2050 from 2020, paragraph four to say Finance Minister to try and reach agreement on review of reforms, not debt relief, and paragraph five to show overall bailout is up to 86 billion euros, not that to 86 billion euros could be transferred)

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