Athens, Helsinki to sign collateral deal

Finland may sign a deal on securing collateral in exchange for its commitment to Greece?s second bailout in the ?next few days,? Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said on Monday.

A vote in parliament on Finland?s participation in the bailout could follow next week, she told reporters in Helsinki.

Euro-area finance ministers share a ?very strong? common stance in their view on what Greece must do, namely act on its pledges of austerity before more aid can be released, she said.

Finland, one of four AAA-rated euro members, last year became the only nation in the currency bloc to secure extra assurances that its commitments to a second Greek rescue be repaid by insisting on collateral.

In return, Finland agreed to pay its contribution to the permanent rescue facility, the so-called European Stability Mechanism, up-front.

?I hope we could sign the collateral agreement in the next few days,? Urpilainen said. ?These conditions must be fulfilled before Finland?s parliament can give a green light? to a second Greek bailout. [Bloomberg]