BRUSSELS Feb 21 The European Central Bank
will pass up profits it has made from buying Greek bonds over
the past two years under its Securities Market Programme in an
effort to lighten Athens' debt burden, a senior euro zone
official said on Tuesday.
The ECB has spent about 38 billion euros on Greek
government, debt that is now worth about 50 billion euros. By
forgoing that profit and redistributing it to national euro zone
central banks, the ECB can provide debt relief to Athens.
The agreement forms part of a 130 billion euro financing
package that aims to reduce Greece's debts from around 160
percent of GDP now to 121 percent of GDP by 2020.
By forgoing its profits, the ECB is expected to be able to
contribute about 5.5 percentage points to the debt reduction.