Germany foresees no Greek haircut

Germany foresees no Greek haircut

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Germany foresees no Greek haircut

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Germany does not plan to ease the Greek debt. EPA Photo

Germany reiterated yesterday its strict opposition to taking a “haircut” on its holdings of Greek debt, saying such a procedure was “unimaginable.” On the eve of a hotly awaited meeting of eurozone finance ministers to thrash out a deal on Greece, Berlin also cautioned that a final decision could not be taken today as parliaments first had to give their go-ahead.

The idea of other governments and official institutions such as the European Central Bank taking a loss on their Greek debt is “as before, unimaginable”, a finance ministry spokeswoman told a regular government news briefing.

“A final decision cannot happen tomorrow for purely technical and procedural reasons. For that, the Bundestag has to be involved,” added Marianne Kothe, referring to the German lower house of parliament.

She added the procedure was similar in other European countries but stressed: “We are working intensively to find a common line.”

Finance ministers from the 17 eurozone countries meet in Brussels today in a bid to clinch a deal on releasing bailout funds for Greece, as the debt-wracked country teeters on the verge of bankruptcy.