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Debt deal will not last more than three months, Soros says

Billionaire investor George Soros has criticized the latest eurozone deal saying it will last only between one day and three months.

After marathon negotiations in Brussels last week, European leaders persuaded bondholders to take 50 percent losses on Greek debt and boosted the firepower of the rescue fund to 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) in a bid to save Greece from defaulting and curb a mounting crisis in the euro area.

But the 50per cent ''haircut'' on private bond holders would reduce Greek debt by only 20per cent, Soros said during a dinner organized by Pi Capital investor network, warning that a lingering crisis will exacerbate social turmoil.

''Unfortunately, the 50 percent haircut is effectively less than a 20 percent reduction in the overall debt [for Greece] because it only involves the private sector and excludes all the debt that is held by the ECB and the other public authorities and also the debt held by Greece because the banks, of course, will now be insolvent and the pension funds also,'' the veteran investor said.

''Given the magnitude of the crisis, it is again too little too late,'' he said.

In an interview with Kathimerini earlier this month, Soros said that the Greek debt ought to be restructured by 50 percent, provided that Greece remains in the eurozone and that the restructuring is voluntary.

ekathimerini.com , Monday October 31, 2011 (11:00)  
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