Merkel Does Not Rule Out Forgiving Some Greek Debt After 2014
German opposition leaders and analysts have accused Merkel of playing down the need to write off some of Greece's debt held by eurozone governments before national elections in Germany next year for fear of voter retribution.
Merkel did not directly address that charge, noting only that Greece's current bailout programs runs through 2014, hinting that she sees no need for yet new measures before then.
The hawkish head of Germany's central bank, Jens Weidmann, last month said that Greece will eventually need a haircut, but it should only be granted after a prolonged period of budgets cuts and labor reforms there.
Earlier this year, Greece reached a deal with its private creditors to wipe some 100 billion euros ($130 billion) off its national debt, or about half of the country's GDP.Still, a second haircut on Greece's debt from the eurozone rescue loans might be necessary. Analysts say such a haircut could cost Germany, the main contributor to the bailouts, up to 17 billion euros ($22 billion) -- more than 5% of Berlin's annual budget. Merkel's comments came only two days after Germany's parliament voted in favor of granting Greece more lenient terms on its bailout program, clearing a necessary hurdle for disbursing a 44 billion euro ($57 billion) rescue loan payment in December that Athens needs to avoid bankruptcy. ___ Juergen Baetz can be reached on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV