Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN

Davos 2011

Papaconstantinou's Greek debt plan

Friday, January 28, 2011 - 01:57

Jan 28 - As Greece continues to put its finances in order, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou says allowing Greece to buy back government bonds at a discount on the market is worth considering.Joanna Partridge reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Greece continues to try to put its finances in order - as an International Monetary Fund inspection team has returned to the country. They'll spend two weeks reviewing Athens' finances before the payment of the fourth installment of the 110 billion euro EU /IMF bailout it borrowed last May to avoid bankruptcy. Greece brought in tough austerity measures and the government is still looking at how to restructure its debt. The Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou is at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He told Reuters Greece has done well to reduce its deficit by six percent points in one year, and could return to the bond markets by the end of 2011. SOUNDBITE: George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance Minister, saying (English): "It will depend on market conditions. That's what our goal is. Market conditions can change quite quickly, remember last October for about a month, spreads went down 300 basis points and it was good because then we could also show Greek citizens that there's some reaction positive, positive reaction to the sacrifices they're doing." Papaconstantinou also said Athens will not restructure its debt to private creditors, and said allowing the country to buy back government bonds at a discount on the market is worth considering but would require funding. SOUNDBITE: George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance Minister, saying (English): "It is one of the ideas that is being discussed, not officially, it is one of the ideas that analysts have put on the table. It's an idea that deserves some discussion, like others." Greece wants to show it's making progress with tackling its debt - even though Papaconstantinou also expects the economy to shrink by 3 percent this year. But the tough times are far from over for its citizens - and these recent protests show people are still angry about the cuts they're facing. Austerity measures like pension reform and salary reduction for public sector workers continue to bite, and the unions have called for another 24-hour strike on February 23rd. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Papaconstantinou's Greek debt plan

Friday, January 28, 2011 - 01:57