Sunday, January 29, 2012

Greek Premier Heads To Summit in Brussels

Wall Street Journal
January 29, 2012

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos headed for Brussels late Sunday to negotiate a new bailout for his country after weekend talks with private creditors over a planned debt restructuring neared a deal, and following a renewed commitment by political leaders in Athens to pursue fresh reforms.

In remarks following an almost three-hour meeting with the heads of the three parties that make up his coalition government on Sunday, Mr. Papademos said the country's negotiating position was greatly strengthened by the cross-party support.

A day earlier, Greece and its private sector creditors had said they were on the verge of a deal to write off €100 billion ($132 billion) of the country's debt, pending the outcome of separate talks on the new multibillion-euro bailout for Athens. Both sides said in statements over the weekend that they expect a deal to be completed this week.

The focus now shifts to a European summit on Monday in Brussels, where the Continent's leaders are set to discuss the terms of the debt restructuring and the new loan. Complicating those discussions are new demands by Germany for greater European oversight over Greece's budget affairs, and growing concerns that Greece's funding needs might be bigger than originally thought.

Over the weekend, it emerged that Germany was leading a push for tighter European control over Greece's budget and economic plans.


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