Reuters/New York Times
April 22, 2011
Greece is considering extending maturities on its sovereign debt to make it sustainable, two national newspapers said on Friday, joining a flurry of recent press reports outlining options for a possible restructuring.
Greek and EU officials have steadfastly denied a debt restructuring is planned, in the face of mounting evidence that markets are factoring one in.
A spokeswoman for the finance ministry was not immediately available for comment on Friday's reports.
The country's top-selling newspaper Ta Nea said without citing a source that the government was mulling "a velvet restructuring" that would include extending outstanding debt and a voluntary agreement with lenders to modify repayment terms.
Such a step would have to be taken before 2012, the newspaper said, but not before the expiry of the term of ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet, who steps down at the end of October.
The Greek official in charge of the informal debt extension talks "seems to be" Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and a technical team of advisers, the newspaper said without elaborating on with whom they were holding talks.