BERLIN The German government is considering the possibility of issuing joint bonds with five fellow triple A euro zone countries that are being referred to as "elite bonds" or "AAA bonds," newspaper Die Welt reported on Monday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-right government have repeated ruled out collectivizing debt and the introduction of common euro zone bonds.
The conservative daily cited "high European Union diplomats" involved in fighting the sovereign debt crisis saying the Berlin government was nevertheless considering issuing bonds jointly with France, Finland, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria.
The joint bonds could be used not only to finance borrowing for those six countries but also could be used to raise funds under strict conditions for countries such as Italy and Spain, the newspaper reported.
The goal would be to stabilize the situation in the AAA countries as well as "building a credible firewall to calm the financial markets," Die Welt said. The interest rate for the bonds should be somewhere between 2 and 2.5 percent -- or only slightly above the level for German government bonds.
The newspaper said the euro zone countries without AAA ratings should not be included initially.
(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Richard Borsuk)