Any steps taken to narrow Greece’s financing gap “should not be disruptive” for financial stability, said Caroline Atkinson, a spokeswoman for the International Monetary Fund.
“Everybody agrees that any involuntary debt restructuring or credit event would be undesirable,” she told reporters in Washington today.
Talks are under way in Europe on how to increase aid to Greece, whose borrowing costs are too high to allow it to return to the markets next year. European governments and the IMF will lend Greece as much as an extra 45 billion euros ($65 billion) under an expanded plan to avoid the euro area’s first sovereign default, two people with direct knowledge of the talks said.
Atkinson declined to say which measures would be considered a debt default. She repeated that the original 110 billion-euro loan program by the European Union and the IMF for Greece “does not contemplate” restructuring.
European estimates put Greece’s 2012-14 financing gap at as much as 170 billion euros, the people said. It would be filled by the loans, plus about 57 billion euros in unspent aid from last year’s bailout, roughly 30 billion euros in asset-sale proceeds and about 30 billion euros in rollovers by creditors.
Structuring the rollovers remains the most sensitive part of the package. Atkinson said the IMF’s role in current discussions is to “advise what would make sense” and outline the implications of the options that were discussed.