BRUSSELS (MNI) – It is in the own interest of Greece’s creditors to
extend their financing to Athens over the coming years, Belgian Finance
Minister Didier Reynders argued Tuesday.
“We must convince banks, pension funds, insurance companies to
participate, to remain present in the financing of Greece,” Reynders
told reporters on arrival for a meeting of European finance ministers to
discuss solutions for the country’s debt woes.
The support of the ECB for an accord is “in my eyes” a condition
for its success, he said. “We must work together.”
“I think it would be a mistake to try to force [creditors] to
intervene, because that would be a possible default and probably create
problems for all of the Eurozone,” Reynders warned. “If it is done on a
voluntary basis, we really have a chance for progress.”
“The financial sector has every interest in [seeing] the Eurozone
overcome this challenge without too much difficulty,” he said. “It’s in
the interest of our financial partners to be able to continue in the
coming years to work under good conditions in the entire Eurozone and
not only with a few countries.”
There must also be a “very strong commitment” from Athens to
implement further consolidation measures in order to count on additional
aid from the EU and the IMF, he added.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told journalists not to
expect “any results” from today’s meeting, which aims to prepare the
“difficult” decisions to be taken next week.
Schaeuble underscored Berlin’s willingness to provide further aid
after the authorization from Parliament last week — on the condition
that Athens follow through with the additional efforts it has pledged.
Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg noted that “most of the
countries have indicated that some sort of private sector involvement is
crucial in this very moment,” but conceded, “I don’t know yet how to