NEWS

Eurozone outlines new, 90-bln-euro bailout for Greece

Eurozone finance ministers launched formal talks on Wednesday by telephone over the details of a new Greek rescue package which an EU diplomat told Agence-France Presse will top 90 billion euros.

Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement that the finance ministers held a conference call Wednesday afternoon to exchange views on last week’s assessment of Greece’s situation by the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. .

“We acknowledged the significant progress achieved so far by the Greek authorities, in particular as regards fiscal consolidation, although a reinvigoration of fiscal and broader structural reforms remains necessary,» Juncker said in a press release.

Juncker praised the Greek government’s commitment to a 50-billion-euro privatization program and underlined the importance of cross-party political support in Greece.

“We share the view expressed by the troika that strict implementation will help restore fiscal sustainability, safeguard financial stability and boost competitiveness,» he said.

An EU diplomat told AFP that the sell-off program would be expected to contribute «one third» of the new bailout plan. Another third would come from eurozone and IMF loans, although it is not clear if that is on top of loans still to be paid out under the first bailout.

In a letter sent to eurozone partners also made public on Wednesday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said private banks must forego collecting Greek public debts for seven years as a condition for funnelling new financial aid to Athens.

An agreement could be reached «through a bond swap leading to a prolongation of the outstanding Greek sovereign bonds by seven years.”