German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reckons a third bailout for Greece would be less than 10 billion euros, significantly smaller than each of the previous aid packages, German magazine Focus reported.
Greece was cut off from markets in 2010 as the true scale of its debt burden became apparent. After four years of painful measures to contain debt, two bailouts totaling 240 billion euros and a hit on private bondholders, the Greek economy is expected to return to modest growth this year.
“In 2022, according to the troika’s forecasts, Greece’s debt will reach a level that can be described as sustainable so it may be that Greece will need to make use of limited aid again,” the magazine quotes Schaeuble as saying in an advance extract of an interview due to be published on Monday.
He said the granting of a third aid package was conditional on Greece continuing to meet the terms set by its “troika” of international lenders – the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
Such a package would be a “much smaller sum than in the first two programs – so more like a one-digit billion amount,” he said.
In February, German media reported that Berlin was preparing for the possibility that the eurozone would have to support Greece with an extra 10 billion to 20 billion euros. [Reuters]