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Greek Debt Talks Put Pressure on ECB

Wall Street Journal - Jan 31, 2012

The European Central Bank, Greece's biggest creditor, is finding it hard to stay on the sidelines as Greece negotiates a debt-restructuring deal with its private-sector bondholders.

The ECB isn't part of the talks, even though it holds around 50 billion ($66 billion) in Greek government bonds, about one-seventh of Greece's outstanding debt. Those holdings raise questions about the central bank's appropriate role in keeping Greece afloat that will linger even if a deal with other investors is completed this week.

Comments by a top European policy maker on Tuesday underscore the pressure the ECB faces.

"We must as far as possible bring to an end the negotiations with private creditors by the end of the week," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in a radio interview. "Thereafter we can consider whether others need to be ready to provide further assistance," he added, echoing comments made last week by International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde. Outside the private sector, Greece's main lenders are other European governments, the ECB and the IMF.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2012-01-31 14:03:11

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