IMF pressing for Greece to restructure debt
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) doubts the success of Greek reforms and is pressing for a restructure of the country's debt, a German magazine reported Saturday, reported dpa.
Top IMF representatives had urged the move in discussions with European governments in recent days, Spiegel news magazine wrote in an article to be published Monday.
The IMF's change of course was reportedly due to doubts that the Greek reform programme would suffice to balance the country's budget.
IMF representatives had told EU government representatives that the country needed to reduce its debt from the current 150 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), Spiegel wrote.
Options included a so-called haircut, slashing returns on private investments, an extension of bond repayments or lower interest rates - all of which would entail a loss in yields for public bondholders.
The IMF had reportedly suggested that Greece should begin talks with creditors, to inform them about their intention to restructure the country's debt.
The financial institute had held back from making its recommendations public, for fear of increasing pressure on economically troubled Portugal, Spiegel reported.
Greek Finance Minister Giorgios Papakonstinou earlier rejected similar proposals by the Economist magazine, which wrote that Greece, Ireland and Portugal were already bankrupt and should undergo a debt restructure.
"There is no such issue," Papakonstinou told Greek broadcaster NET.
Greek premier Giorgos Papandreou has repeatedly insisted that the country would "pay back every cent."