ESM chief rules out another debt writedown
The head of the eurozone aid program for crisis-hit members has ruled out a further debt writedown for Greece in an interview with a German online news magazine yesterday. “There will not be a debt haircut,” Klaus Regling, head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the fund set up to help eurozone countries at the height of the financial and debt crisis, told Spiegel Online. His comments follow a call by Greece’s Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos for an easing of repayment conditions in a German newspaper at the weekend. Regling said that the ESM was Greece’s biggest creditor. “Its loan terms are at 30 years, the interest rate slightly over 1.5 percent. For the coming 10 years the interest was deferred. All that corresponds, economically, to a debt haircut,” he said. He added that the room for maneuver for a further easing of terms by creditors was narrow. “The International Monetary Fund is basically not changing its conditions,” he said. But he added that there could possibly be some small leeway on Greece’s bilateral loans from its first aid package, although that would have to be decided by the individual states who had provided the credit.