European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Wednesday the European Union?s bailout of Greece is an investment in the country?s future and not a fruitless subsidy.
?The Europeans are not subsidizing Greece to never see their money again,? Trichet told France?s Le Point magazine in an interview, according to a transcript released by the Frankfurt-based ECB. ?They are investing in its recovery. Of course, they need to monitor their investment closely.?
Trichet said if rating agencies downgrade Greece to ?selective default? because of the losses private sector investors stand to incur as part of the bailout package, government guarantees of Greek bonds used as collateral in money market operations will protect the integrity of the ECB.
?The protection of the integrity of the central bank is non-negotiable,? he said.
Greece?s exit from the monetary union was not discussed at last week?s leaders? summit, Trichet said. ?Not for a minute did anyone consider that option,? he was quoted as saying.