Schaeuble rejects Greek debt losses

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble rejected another debt restructuring for Greece, saying it?s unrealistic to expect public or private bondholders to take losses on their Greek holdings.

Schaeuble?s comments, made in an interview with German radio Deutschlandfunk broadcast on Sunday, pour cold water on a report in Der Spiegel magazine that Greece?s international creditors recommend a so-called haircut in their latest report on the country?s finances. The Finance Ministry in Berlin declined to comment on the Spiegel article.

After agreeing to the biggest-ever write-off on private bondholders, it would ?a bit unrealistic? to impose more losses on them, Schaeuble said, according to a transcript posted on Deutschlandfunk?s website. Members of the euro area are meanwhile restricted by law from participating in losses, therefore so-called official sector involvement ?is a discussion that has little to do with the reality of member states in the eurozone,? he said.

Schaeuble said a proposal made for a debt buyback is ?something one could consider more seriously,? though he refused to speculate on Greece?s finances before the troika report.

European policy makers are awaiting the report on Greece?s progress in meeting internationally agreed targets compiled by the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Schaeuble said the German government received an interim report from the troika last week.

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras triggered investor confusion on October 24 when he told lawmakers in Athens that Greece had won approval for its bid to secure a two-year extension to 2016 for its bailout program. The commission and the ECB denied that a deal had been struck.

Schaeuble said he had called Stournaras to ask him about his comments and that the Greek minister said he had been ?misunderstood.?

?It?s completely clear that the negotiations are not yet finished,? Schaeuble said.


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