French Finance Minister Michel Sapin on Wednesday played down a warning by the International Monetary Fund that Greece would need more debt relief than that offered by European governments so far, saying that was already France's view.
"The IMF is saying the same thing as we are … we cannot help Greece if we maintain the same debt reimbursement burden on the Greek economy," he told BFM TV.
Sapin said he understood that the IMF was calling for debt relief but not an outright haircut.
An IMF study, first reported by Reuters, said EU countries would have to give Greece a 30-year grace period on servicing all its European debt, including new loans, and a dramatic maturity extension – or else make annual transfers to the Greek budget or accept "deep upfront haircuts" on existing loans. [Reuters]