BERLIN Greece's international lenders are preparing possible debt relief measures for Athens for discussion by euro zone finance ministers, the German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday.The European Commission, the ESM euro zone rescue fund, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)have prepared various debt measures in a document to be sent to the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers for further discussion, it said, citing people familiar with the document.One option in the document was for the ESM to take over loans paid out by the IMF. The advantage would be lower interest rates charged by the ESM.
Other options included extending debt maturities and having the ECB and national central banks send profits made on Greek bonds to Athens through national governments, Handelsblatt reported.An EU source told Reuters the document was originally a paper by the ESM, not all four institutions, and had been modified on the way to the version Handelsblatt saw.
"It lays down several options for the restructuring of Greek debt and specifies possibilities which were given by the Eurogroup last May. One of the options still is that ESM would take debt from IMF," the source said."It is not clear yet if the IMF would agree on that."
Separately, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Durban, South Africa that the European Union needed to "exert pressure on national governments to implement ... much-needed reforms.""Those countries which received help under European assistance programmes, and therefore had to actually implement unpleasant reforms, and those countries which have kept to the agreed rules are among the most successful countries in the EU today," he said."The problem is therefore not with the rules, but with the lack of implementation of them," added Schaeuble. (Reporting by Tom Koerkemeier and Michael Nienaber; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin and Tom Heneghan)
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Updated Date: May 05, 2017 00:00 AM