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Voices for a new cut in the Greek debt are increasing

04 August 2013 / 16:08:35  GRReporter
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Recognising the critical situation, the International Monetary Fund urged the Eurozone to take decisive measures immediately and once again came to a head-on collision with Berlin and the European Commission which argue that such a discussion could begin as late as the autumn of 2014. Under these conditions, votes for the second cut of Greek debt are stronger than ever.

The message of Barclays to investors is indicative of the climate on the markets. "We cannot see that it is possible for Greece to return to the markets next year, although recent developments have been very positive," notes Barclays Bank analyst Fabrice Montagnier in the message, adding that "the Troika will probably not avoid negotiations for a new rescue programme before the end of 2014 in order to fill the gaps."

In parallel, in a statement for Reuters news agency, he said that there was no reason for the country to expect lending from the market, since currently borrowing costs remain extremely high. SSA analyst’s statements are similar. He said: "With so much uncertainty, investors simply cannot be interested".

In turn, American investment bank JPMorgan admitted that Greece can increase the issuance of treasury bills as a temporary solution. It is estimated that up to 70% of the financial gap could be covered with the capital intended for recapitalisation and which has not been used yet, and the remainder could be covered with securities.

It is noted that the IMF has estimated that the financial gap will reach 4.4 billion euro in August 2014 and increase by about 6.5 billion euro in 2015. If these predictions prove correct, the issuance of treasury bills will not be enough.

In recent months, the Greek government has issued treasury bills with a maturity of 13 to 26 weeks. Last month, it received 1.625 billion euro from the issuance of securities maturing in January 2014 at an interest of 4.2%. The fact that securities with greater maturity cannot be issued, shows that there is no solution, despite the improvement in the climate on the markets.

Early last year, shortly before the exchange programme of bonds, the return on Greek bonds with maturity of 10 years exceeded 25%. This year, it started declining significantly, reaching 8.2% in May, at the height of the expectations for the Greek “success story”. These expectations were largely refuted and the return reached almost 9.8%.

IMF worries that if the problem of the financial gap is not resolved soon, it will cause serious damage to the credibility of the country and, as a result, the return on the market will be significantly delayed. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said yesterday that she was confident that the Europeans would comply with the arrangements for relief measures for the Greek debt, if Athens meets its obligations. She added that there is no reason to believe that the Europeans will meet their arrangements with Greece and third countries, and the form of these measures and assistance will be discussed at a later stage.

Meanwhile in Germany there are a lot more people who believe that the Greek debt’s restructuring is inevitable, despite the German government’s assurances to the contrary. Representative of the Green Party and prime candidate for the post of Minister of Finance Jurgen Trittin considers that this is highly likely to happen, if the elections in September form a centre-left coalition government. In an interview for the Wall Street Journal, when asked about the cuts, he said that this was a possible solution, but the first step is the increase of investment.

“The numbers are not correct”

Much of the German media think that cutting is imminent. An article in yesterday's newspaper Die Welt read that Greece is out in its calculations and after the elections Berlin will be forced to accept the reality. The authors of the article noted that the failure in achieving goals was not related to a lack of desire on the side of Greece for reforms, but to the difficult economic situation which was not improving at the pace expected by the Troika.

Tags: International Monetary Fund debt crisis Greek debt cuts Germany
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