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|EU tries to save Greek rescue|
|Ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday in an effort to narrow differences over a €172bn packagehttp://link.ft.com/r/9ULF66/7AVK9B/EANEG/KEX9HL/QFSZD8/PJ/h?a1=2011&a2=6&a3=13|
Sempre sul Financial Times oggi tra i commenti Sony Kapoor propone un nuovo piano per salvare l'eurozona dall'incubo del default greco.
At present Greece cannot repay its debt in full, but asking European taxpayers to share the burden through a write-off is politically toxic. Simply restructuring debt owed to the private sector will bankrupt the Greek banking system, and trigger contagion. Increasing public support to Greece also makes little economic sense. Instead, the new path must move between the constraints of what is economically sensible and politically feasible.
This means that haircuts on Greek government bonds are arithmetically unavoidable, given EU taxpayers are unlikely to provide almost €100bn to Greece in aid. The timing of these haircuts is flexible: they could happen now or in July 2013, when the European Stabilisation Mechanism is activated. Restructuring now will minimise uncertainty, and reduce the debt overhang, although July 2013 may be more realistic politically.
Plan B must also differentiate between the various creditors. EU loans and European Central Bank support provided after Greece got into trouble must be treated preferentially. Private holders of Greek debt would have been worse off without this public support, so the EU and ECB debt should not be restructured. In 2013 this can simply be transferred to the ESM, which will have preferred creditor status.
Another category of creditors, Greek banks, will also need to be protected. (...)
Delaying restructuring till July 2013 is possible but implies that a 75 per cent haircut will be needed to compensate for the €40bn of repayments due to non-public external bondholders by then. (....)
Finally, contagion to Ireland and Portugal can be avoided through the introduction of an ESM clause that allows debt restructuring only when the debt/GDP ratio and debt servicing/GDP ratios exceed 110 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, levels that neither Ireland nor Portugal are expected to breach. The markets recognise that Greece is different. It will still need to work very hard to cut deficits and restore growth. For that there is no Plan B.