Quest for Easier Bailout Terms ‘Understandable,’ Urpilainen Says
Ireland and Portugal would be justified in seeking easier terms on their bailouts after Greece’s borrowing costs were lowered and its loan maturities extended, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said.
“It’s understandable that they feel they should have this help on equal terms,” Urpilainen told reporters in Helsinki today. “If they make requests, we must consider them separately.”
Euro-area finance ministers yesterday drew up a debt-relief agreement for Greece that reduced the rates on bailout loans, suspended interest payments for a decade, gave it more time to repay and engineered a buyback of its bonds. The country was also cleared to receive a 34.4 billion-euro ($44.7 billion) loan installment next month.
The ministers from the 17 nations sharing the single currency will meet again on Dec. 3 in Brussels before convening with their counterparts from the 27-member European Union a day later. National approvals for the Greek deal will take until Dec. 13, the Finnish Finance Ministry said, according to a statement handed out at today’s briefing.
“Other euro members can create the prerequisites for Greece to pull out” of the crisis, Urpilainen said. “The rest is up to Greece.”
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