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Nowotny Signals ECB May Compromise on Defaulted Greek Bonds

European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny suggested the bank may compromise and allow a temporary Greek default as officials scramble to fix a sovereign debt crisis that’s spreading to Italy and Spain before a leaders’ summit in two days.

As Spanish financing costs surged at a 4.45 billion euro ($6.31 billion) treasury bill auction today, policy makers are trying to ease a split that’s pushed interest rates on Spanish and Italian 10-year debt above 6 percent for the first time since the euro debuted 12 years ago. The ECB has until now argued that any Greek default could spark a new financial crisis, derailing a German push to make investors help foot the bill for a second bailout of the country.