17 December 2017
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Unsustainable Greek debt is a deterrent for investors

14 December 15 | Klaus Regling
Klaus Regling

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Antulio Richetta

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European Stability Mechanism (ESM) chief Klaus Regling revealed that Greece's European creditors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were getting closer on the issue of restructuring Greece's debt, in an interview with a Greek newspaper.

 

Regling noted that such a solution had a medium-term time frame and would not involve a nominal haircut of Greece's debt but an attempt to make its profile "gentler". Everyone wanted Greece to be attractive to investors, he pointed out, and an unsustainable debt was a deterrent.

If the creditors succeeded in extending the period of the already very low debt repayments, that would attract investors in both the financial sector but also in the real economy, where the prospects were more long-term, he said.

Regling expressed surprise at recent statements that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made about the IMF's role in the third memorandum, pointing out that IMF participation was expressly envisaged in a series of legal documents that Greece has signed, including the Eurogroup decisions last August.

Asked if Grexit was still on the table, the ESM chief noted that the monetary union had been designed in a way that made no provision for any country's exit but added that "this possibility always exists when the commitments as a member of the monetary union are not respected."

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