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EU Rehn: Greece Must Take Steps In Coming Days; Debt 'Reprofile' Option

A “voluntary” extension of maturities on Greece’s sovereign debt might be considered once Athens has committed to new measures that are urgently needed in order to meet the fiscal targets tied to its E110 billion EMU-IMF aid package, Europe’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference following a day of meetings among the European Union’s 27 finance ministers, Rehn said:
“The Greek government has committed to taking further measures of fiscal consolidation in the coming days” to meet its budget deficit targets for 2011 and future years.
Once the new measures are taken, Rehn added, Eurozone finance ministers will also consider the possibility of additional aid for Greece.
It is an increasingly open secret among European officials that Greece will not regain access to capital markets next year, as originally hoped, and will thus need additional money to meet about E30 billion worth of debt repayments coming due.
There has been talk in recent days of a new bailout package worth as much as E60 billion, though that number has not been confirmed.
Rehn said a restructuring of Greek debt is not an option. However, a “re profiling,” or voluntarily extension of loan maturities held by private investors, could be examined, he said.
He added that the measures must have must have broad political support. “If it is possible for Portugal and Ireland, how come not in Greece,” said Rehn. Opposition parties in Ireland and Portugal agreed to support the terms of their country’s bailouts.
Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking at a press conference Monday evening, said it was “premature” to talk about fresh cash for Greece, “but that does not necessarily mean it is excluded.”

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