ECONOMY

Venizelos: PSI talks are difficult

Talks on the plan for the new debt swap plan as drafted by the eurozone summit on October 27 have entered a crucial phase ?with difficulties,? according to Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, with banks determined to hold their ground, especially on two crucial issues.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Venizelos said that negotiations on the new private sector involvement plan (PSI+) are tough: ?On a daily basis, night and day, PSI is being negotiated, with great difficulties, which I am not able to talk about. I should have been able to, for Greek citizens to know what is happening.?

Lenders are trying to ensure that their losses will not exceed 50 percent, the rate agreed at October?s summit, and an agreement is yet to be reached on issues such as the maturities and the interest rates of the new bonds, according to an unnamed source cited by The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, National Bank of Greece Chairman Apostolos Tamvakakis told a shareholders meeting in Athens on Thursday that he hoped talks on the debt swap would end soon.