ECONOMY

EU leaders said to mull fresh approach on Greece

The governments of the European Union, which has stepped in with the International Monetary Fund with a loan to prevent a Greek default, are mulling a shift on their Greece strategy that would involve Athens defaulting on some of its bonds, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Monday.

The plan, which is said to be discussed during a Eurogroup meeting on Monday, may foresee extra leeway for the debt-choked Mediterranean country including a further drop in interest rates on rescue loans and a broad-based bond buyback program, the newspaper reported.

Such a development would be a move away from the France-backed rollover plan in which bondholders would reinvest at least 70 percent of the proceeds from bonds maturing before the end of 2014 in new 30-year bonds and other AAA-rated securities.

Greece?s debt crisis and the government?s stalling efforts to push through austerity reforms to get to the economy back on track are to top the agenda at an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, called by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Sunday, along with growing concerns about the precarious state of Italy?s finances.

Van Rompuy called for the meeting ahead of a scheduled Eurogroup summit, due to begin on Monday afternoon, which is to focus on plans to draft a second rescue package for Greece.