Chronologie der Krise

Wie aus einer Immobilienblase eine Weltwirtschaftskrise wurde…

Europa: Bailout-Plan für Griechenland beschlossen?

Posted by hw71 - 13. März 2010

„Deal or no-deal“ ist man geneigt zu fragen… Nachdem einige englischsprachige Zeitungen (u.a. der englische Guardian) gestern Abend berichteten, dass die EU angeblich einen Bailout-Plan beschlossen hat, in dem Deutschland eine „Schlüsselrolle“ zukommt (Zitat: „Germany, the EU’s traditional paymaster„), trudeln jetzt die ersten (hilflos wirkenden) Dementis aus Berlin ein, z.B. auf… Ich habe mal beide Artikel angehängt.

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Greece debt: EU agrees bailout deal

Exclusive: Germany plays pivotal role in potential eurozone rescue package for Greek debts

Ian Traynor in Brussels, Friday 12 March 2010 16.37 GMT

The eurozone has agreed a multibillion-euro bailout for Greece as part of a package to shore up the single currency after weeks of crisis, the Guardian has learnt.

Senior sources in Brussels said that Berlin had bowed to the bailout agreement despite huge resistance in Germany and that the finance ministers of the „eurozone“ – the 16 member states including Greece who use the euro – are to finalise the rescue package on Monday. The single currency’s rulebook will also be rewritten to enforce greater fiscal discipline among members.

The member states have agreed on „co-ordinated bilateral contributions“ in the form of loans or loan guarantees to Greece if Athens finds itself unable to refinance its soaring debt and requests help from the EU, a senior European commission official said.

Other sources said the aid could rise to €25bn (£22.6bn), although it is estimated in European capitals that Greece could need up to €55bn by the end of the year.

Germany, the EU’s traditional paymaster, but the most reluctant to come to the rescue of a fiscal delinquent in the current crisis, has played the pivotal role in organising the rescue package, the sources added.

„There have been quite intensive preparations under the eurogroup. We have the ways and means to do it,“ said the senior official, asking not to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity.

„It will be a co-ordinated approach of bilateral contributions [between EU governments] … A bilateral contribution can be a loan or a loan guarantee. The guarantees will facilitate the kind of funds potentially needed in this context.“

The rules governing the operation of the single currency proscribe a bailout for a country on the brink of insolvency. Berlin, in particular, has been worried that any bailout of Greece could be challenged in its constitutional court.

The senior official said the agreement – which will not involve any contribution from the UK taxpayerhad been tailored to respect the bailout ban and avoid a supreme court challenge in Germany.

Alongside the financial relief package for Greece, the European commission is rushing through tougher rules for the eurozone, using powers conferred by the recently enacted Lisbon treaty to try to establish a system of rigorous „budgetary surveillance“ of all 16 participating countries. The aim is a new regime of „reinforced economic policy co-ordination“ in the EU.

„This is the essential lesson that has to be learned from the Greek case,“ Olli Rehn of Finland, the new commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, told the Guardian (and four other European papers).

„The Greek case is a potential turning point for the eurozone,“ said Rehn in the interview. „If Greece fails and we fail, this will do serious and maybe permanent damage to the credibility of the European Union. The euro is not only a monetary arrangement, but a core political project of the European Union … In that sense, we are at a crossroads.“

While ready to bail out the Greeks if only on terms of „rigorous conditionality“, European leaders are hoping that the rescue will not be needed, that the draconian package of austerity measures announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou will be enough to calm the markets and stabilise the euro.

EU leaders are to rule next week on whether Papandreou is doing enough to slash the 12.7% budget deficit by four percentage points this year, part of his ambition to cut the deficit by 10 points over three years.

Rehn said he would unveil new proposals next month, enshrining a new single currency regime of „rigorous surveillance of national budgets“ and that Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, would need to be given formidable new auditing powers over the books of eurozone member states, a demand that may be resisted by EU governments.

„That’s the hard core of our proposal. [The surveillance] should be automatic,“ said Rehn. „We have an immediate corrective instrument for the Greek case, plus another framework to prevent new Greek crises.“

Inside the commission, officials are confident that Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, supports the tough new regime being plotted. Schäuble, who uses a wheelchair and is currently in hospital, and will not attend key meetings in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday.

Schäuble enjoys a longstanding reputation as a European integrationist and is said to have played a central role in shaping the Greek bailout plans despite widespread hostility to any such moves in Germany.

Over the past week, he has sparked a major debate by calling for a European Monetary Fund to underpin the currency, and yesterday stoked more controversy by proposing that serial sinners in the eurozone could be expelled from the single currency club.

The EMF concept is for the long-term and a new rule enabling expulsion from the euro club would require the Lisbon treaty to be re-opened, a nightmare for most after labouring over it for almost nine years.

While senior figures in Brussels believe that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schäuble are intensely serious about establishing an EMF, they also suspect they are using the idea to assuage hostile public opinion in Germany and „prepare a short-term fire brigade operation for Greece“.

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UPDATE 2-Germany unaware of Greek bailout, EU says no deal done

Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:56am EST

* Paper reports euro zone agrees bailout plan for Greece

* German FinMin says unaware of such a plan

* European Commission says no deal has been concluded

* Rehn to seek new auditing powers for Eurostat in euro zone

(Adds EU Commission comment)

BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) – Germany’s Finance Ministry said on Saturday it was not aware of any agreement by euro zone members to bail out heavily indebted Greece, and the European Union’s executive said no such deal had been concluded.

The statements followed a report by Britain’s Guardian newspaper that a multi-billion euro bailout for Greece had been agreed as part of a package to support the euro.

The paper quoted a senior European Commission official as saying the 16 euro zone members had agreed on „coordinated bilateral contributions“ in the form of loans or loan guarantees if Athens was unable to refinance its debts and called on the EU for help.

Asked whether a deal had been concluded on financial support for Greece, European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said: „The Commission stands ready to act if necessary. Technical work is ongoing and has not yet been concluded. All the rest is speculation.“

A German ministry spokesman said he could not believe the newspaper report was correct.

„We are not aware that this is being planned,“ he said, adding that Greece had not requested any aid. „Greece is implementing its (savings) programme and we expect that it will manage it alone.“

The reports come ahead of a meeting of finance ministers on Monday, which officials have told Reuters would praise Greek austerity efforts and discuss a support mechanism that Athens could use to finance its borrowing needs if necessary.

Euro zone policymakers have been debating the issue of possible financial aid for Greece for more than a month, but have so far provided only words of support. Germany, key to any deal, has resisted appeals to promise aid.

The Guardian said agreement on a package had been reached despite strong resistance by Berlin. Berlin had played the pivotal role in organising the deal, the paper quoted other sources as saying.

Euro zone finance ministers will finalise the package on Monday, the paper said.

The aid to be made available by the bailout could reach 25 billion euros, the paper quoted its sources as saying. Greece’s borrowing needs for the whole of 2010 total 53.2 billion euros.


Greece, labouring under a crippling debt burden, announced a 4.8 billion euro package of austerity measures last week designed to reduce its budget deficit to 8.7 percent of GDP this year from 12.7 percent in 2009.

That has helped to ease markets‘ nerves and bring down the high premium over benchmark European bonds it has to pay to raise funds from a high of more than 400 basis points in January.

The bailout „will be a coordinated approach of bilateral contributions … a bilateral contribution can be a loan or a loan guarantee. The guarantees will facilitate the kind of funds potentially needed in this context,“ the Guardian quoted the senior Commission official as saying.

The agreement has been tailored to avoid breaking the ban in the rules governing the operation of the euro currency, on a bailout for a country on the brink of bankruptcy, and to avoid a challenge by Germany’s supreme court, the official said.

The Commission is also rushing through tougher rules for the euro zone to set up rigorous „budgetary surveillance“ of the 16 member states, the Guardian said. Greece has in the past provided the European Union with misleading economic statistics.

„The Greek case is a turning point for the euro zone,“ the Guardian also quoted EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn as saying in an interview with it and other European papers.

„If Greece fails and we fail, this will do serious and maybe permanent damage to the credibility of the European Union. The euro is not only a monetary arrangement but a core political project of the European Union … in that sense we are at a crossroads.“

Rehn said he would propose next month a regime of „rigorous surveillance of national budgets“ including giving Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, big new auditing powers over the accounts of euro zone member states. (Reporting by Tim Pearce in London, Pete Harrison in Brussels and Volker Warkentin in Berlin, Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Patrick Graham)


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