Greek FinMin, foreign officials optimistic about PSI deal

Greece’s Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday sought to ease concerns about a private-sector debt swap.

?We have a very constructive cooperation with the private sector,? Venizelos told reporters on Monday in Brussels before a meeting of Eurogroup, the eurozone’s 17 finance ministers.

?We are ready to finalize the procedure on time,? he said.

The Greek debt crisis will be in focus at Monday’s Eurogroup meeting amid concerns that the stalled talks between Athens and its private-sector creditors could delay a broader bailout package necessary to keep the country afloat.

Foreign officials appeared to share the optimism on Monday.

“A voluntary restructuring of debt held by private investors… seems to be taking shape,» French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said at a joint press conference in Paris with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble earlier Monday without giving any more details

“We are determined to support Greece the time necessary for it to put in place reforms and for them to produce their effects,» Baroin said.

Schauble urged Greece to meet commitments to reduce its budget deficit, introduce structural reforms and make sure its debt is sustainable. Greece’s debt, the German official said, should be trimmed to «not much more than 120 percent of GDP» by 2020.

“What we want is to keep negotiating with Greece. The negotiations will be difficult, but we want the second program for Greece to be implemented in March so that second tranche can be released,» Schauble said.

“Greece must fulfill its commitments, it is difficult and there is already a lot of delay,» he added. [Combined reports]

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