France says hopeful of a solution to Greek debt

PARIS Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:57pm EST

PARIS (Reuters) - All solutions to help Greece remain financially afloat will have to be applied, including buying back some of its debt, France said ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday other solutions included lowering interest rates on Greece's loans and getting central banks to give up profits made from trading its debt.

"We will probably have to use to all these solutions at the same time so that the (debt) programme is financed from now until 2016 and for the debt to be sustainable until 2020, which will mark perhaps a stage, with an extension until 2022," Moscovici told BFM radio on Sunday.

The Eurogroup is due to try to hammer out a deal on Monday to get international lenders to release emergency aid to Greece before its next debt repayments.

Moscovici said on Sunday an agreement was close and called for the Eurogroup meeting on Monday to be brief.

"I think we are very close to a solution," Moscovici told BFM radio. "Yesterday, we made good progress which means that tomorrow Europeans will have a more or less common position for their discussions with the International Monetary Fund."

European governments want to give Greece an extra two years, until 2022, to cut its debt to a sustainable level of 120 percent of GDP but the IMF does not agree.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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