NEWS

Bailout change in offing

European officials are examining the possibility of extending Greece?s fiscal adjustment period, which runs until the end of 2014, by two years, sources in Brussels told Kathimerini on Tuesday.

Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker (photo) also suggested that Athens could be given more time to hit its fiscal targets. ?There can be no discussions about changing the substance of the agreements, but as I indicated three or four weeks ago we can by all means talk about extensions to the time frame,? Juncker said. ?With the recession in Greece much deeper than originally foreseen, we could talk about extending the time frame.?

The Eurogroup is due to meet in Brussels on Thursday, where Greece?s case will be discussed.

A source in Brussels referred to a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) being agreed between Greece and its lenders. The European official said that any changes would have to ensure that Greece?s debt is viable and that structural reforms are carried out quicker. He added that the details of the new deal are likely to be agreed over the summer.

Speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, a European official said it was clear the current fiscal adjustment program was no longer viable, especially following the government inertia caused by the May 6 and June 17 elections. ?Anybody who would say that we need not and cannot renegotiate the MoU is delusional,? he said.