EU Said to Have No Deadline for Conclusion of Greek Debt Talks

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor. Photographer: Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg

The European Union has no deadline for concluding negotiations with Greece and private bondholders on details of a debt swap that was broadly agreed to in October, according to two euro-region officials.

There is also no talk that the official sector might add more public money to the deal, which aims to slice 100 billion euros ($130 billion) from the 205 billion euros of privately owned Greek debt, said the officials, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.

The failure to wrap up the debt-reduction accord over the weekend helped drive Greek two-year yields to a record high of 206 percent earlier today. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the talks can be completed “soon enough” and French Finance Minister Francois Baroin noted “tangible progress,” neither of them specified a timetable.

The October deal calls for investors to accept a 50 percent loss in the face value of their holdings. It includes 30 billion euros of public money for incentives to encourage investors to take part.

A formal offer on the terms of the voluntary debt swap is due by Feb. 13, according to the Greek finance ministry.

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