Saturday, April 21, 2018
Greece’s Creditors Close to Compromising on Debt
April 21, 2018
Greece’s creditors are getting closer on a deal to ease the country’s debt burden, according to Eurogroup President Mario Centeno.
Greece’s 86-billion euro ($106-billion) bailout program is set to run out in August, and creditors are working on finding a compromise on debt repayments that would help to manage the country’s financing needs after it stops receiving international aid. A debt deal would also allow the International Monetary Fund to participate in the current bailout.
“The positions today are much closer than they used to be before,” Centeno, who is Portugal’s finance minister and chairs the meetings of his euro-area counterparts, said in an interview in Washington. “We still have a final mile to go but there is a positive sentiment around the table so I think that reflects a true willingness to be part of the program.”
Further easing Greek debt is a key precondition for the Washington-based IMF before it can participate in the country’s program. While the IMF has co-financed Greece’s first two bailouts it hasn’t yet activated its third one, arguing the euro area must arrange for more debt sustainability. But the participation of the fund, even a few months before the end of the bailout, is important for some countries including Germany, who see the IMF coming on board as a seal of approval that will offer credibility to the bailout.
A “committed presence” by the IMF will also help with market confidence, Centeno said.