Hol­lande and Tsipras want Greek bailout agreed in late Au­gust

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

A new bailout for Athens should be agreed by late Au­gust, Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande said.

Greece is in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Euro­pean Union and In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund for as much as 86 bil­lion eu­ros ($94 bil­lion) in fresh loans to stave off fi­nan­cial ruin and eco­nomic col­lapse. Tsipras said the new deal would be agreed soon af­ter Aug. 15; Hol­lande said by the end of the month. The two men were speak­ing in Egypt on the side­lines of a cer­e­mony to in­au­gu­rate the New Suez Canal. It will be Greece's third bailout since its fi­nan­cial trou­bles be­came ev­i­dent more than five years ago. Ne­go­ti­a­tions in the past have been heated, but all sides are re­port­ing progress this time around. An ac­cord must be set­tled -- or a bridge loan agreed -- by Aug. 20, when a 3.5 bil­lion euro debt pay­ment to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank falls due.

In a state­ment, Tsipras's of­fice in Athens said he and Hol­lande had agreed that the deal "should and could be con­cluded right af­ter Aug. 15". That would give enough time for the Greek par­lia­ment to ap­prove it to en­able the Aug. 20 re­pay­ment to the ECB. "They also agreed that ev­ery­thing should be done for the Greek econ­omy to re­bound, es­pe­cially af­ter the ef­fects of the bank­ing cri­sis," the state­ment said.

Greece's banks are in need of re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion by 10 bil­lion to 25 bil­lion eu­ros, ac­cord­ing to the EU.France has been gen­er­ally sup­port­ive of Greek re­quests for aid, con­trast­ing with a harder line taken by Ger­many which has de­manded strin­gent re­form and aus­ter­ity mea­sures from Athens.

Hol­lande, speak­ing to re­porters in Egypt, said: "The ob­jec­tive is for the ne­go­ti­a­tions on the (bailout) pro­gram to be con­cluded at the end of Au­gust. We know it's dif­fi­cult but we must make sure that the con­di­tions are met, in a good spirit. "For now I be­lieve the at­mos­phere is right and dis­cus­sions are go­ing in the best of di­rec­tions," he added.

A Euro­pean Com­mis­sion spokes- woman said ear­lier in Brus­sels that talks with Greece on a third bailout were mov­ing ahead "in a sat­is­fac­tory way" and reach­ing an agree­ment was pos­si­ble be­fore Aug. 20.

How­ever, Ger­man news­pa­per Bild cited a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial say­ing that an agree­ment in the next two weeks is "not achiev­able". If a pact was not se­cured, Greece might be of­fered a bridge loan to cover the ECB pay­ment, but Athens has said it only wants to sign up to strict con­di­tions for a full bailout, not a tem­po­rary one. Part of the money is ex­pected to go to re­cap­i­tal­ize Greek banks, a fac­tor that has ham­mered bank­ing sec­tor stocks for most of this week be­cause it hurts ex­ist­ing share­hold­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.