ECB’s Asmussen: Greece can pull off aid, bond swap

European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen said on Wednesday that Greece can meet the conditions for finance ministers to agree a second aid package at their meeting next Monday, which would then permit a sovereign bond swap to be completed in time.

“If the Eurogroup (of euro zone finance ministers) is able to make a positive political decision next Monday, the bond swap with voluntary PSI (private sector involvement) can immediately begin and be completed in time,» he told Reuters.

Asmussen said in an email interview that while the ECB cannot contribute directly to the new Greek package, it could pass any profits from its sovereign bond purchases on to central banks in euro-zone states, which could then use it for Greece.

“If there should be a profit, we will pass it onto the national central banks, as foreseen by our statutes. Then the member states can decide to use this as a contribution to finance the Greek program,» said the German ECB board member.