Private creditors go back to Greece talks

Private creditors go back to Greece talks

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Private creditors go back to Greece talks

A street vendor sells fruits outside the Monastiraki metro station in Athens Jan 26. International private creditors revisit the city for ‘informal’ talks debt reduction. REUTERS photo

Lead negotiators for banks and insurers that hold much of Greece’s debt headed back to Athens yesterday for what was termed “informal” talks on a reduction agreement that remains doggedly elusive.

Creditors from banks, insurers and investment funds owed money by Greece and grouped within the Institute of International Finance (IIF) decided Wednesday to also send a team of experts to assist the negotiations on a writedown of Greek debt worth an expected 100 billion euros ($131 billion).

An IIF statement said Charles Dallara and Jean Lemierre, co-chairmen of the negotiating team, would return to Athens “for informal discussions” with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Greek officials seek agreement on a Private Sector Involvement (PSI) deal under which creditors would take a cut of at least 50 percent on the 200 billion euros in debt they hold.

Two previous rounds of negotiations have snagged on the volume of interest rate to be paid on the remaining debt.

Greece is struggling to reduce total debt of at least 350 billion euros, the equivalent of 160 percent of the country’s annual output.