Athens optimistic about debt cut

Athens optimistic about debt cut

Most banks will come forward "at the last minute", according to ministry estimates. Venizelos met with prime minister lucas papademos on monday to inform him about the progress of the debt cut. Over the weekend, charles dallara, managing director of the international banking federation (IIF), expressed confidence that the project would succeed.

In order to reduce athens' mountain of debt, private creditors such as banks, insurance companies and funds are to voluntarily waive claims on athens in the amount of 107 billion euros. This would correspond to a debt cut of 53.5 percent.

The deadline for them to do so is this thursday. Subsequently, on friday, the euro finance ministers will discuss the size of the contribution and give the green light for the new multi-billion euro greek bailout program.

Athens hopes that at least 75 percent of holders of greek government bonds will sign the "book of the willing" for the debt cut. Then greece can force the remaining investors by law to participate in the debt waiver.

It was considered certain on monday that all greek banks and insurance companies as well as pension funds will participate in the debt cut. This is a good start, he said. Greek banks hold 45 billion euros worth of greek government bonds and the various insurance and pension funds hold around 23 billion euros, greek media unanimously reported on monday.

In athens, meanwhile, no one wants to think about what could happen if too few holders of greek government bonds agreed to cut their debt. In this case, the entire 130 billion euro rescue package for greece could fail. The country would then be on the verge of bankruptcy.

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