Will Greece Be Able to Dodge a Third Bailout?
Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek deputy prime minister and foreign minister, said that Greece may be able to evade the prospect of a third bailout, Reuters reports. He claimed that, through a clever use of debt “reprofiling,” his country could dodge the need for additional bailout money. Many analysts have warned that Greece is facing a 10-11 billion euro shortfall toward the end of 2014 with no easy way to cover the deficit in sight other than once more turning to the country’s international creditors.
Those international creditors, including the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, have recently been in Athens as part of a series of talks with Greek officials to determine the progress of the country toward austerity goals. The goals have included the placement of 25,000 public sector workers into different positions, massive austerity measures, and the sale of state-owned enterprises and assets.
Venizelos was less concerned about the level of Greek debt and more concerned about the implementation of additional austerity measures, which he claimed was simply not an option. This has echoed the sentiment of other Greek politicians, who have come out in stark opposition to further cuts to the public sector and to tax increases. Venizelos pointed out that the level of Greek debt was actually very reasonable compared to the levels being maintained by many other Eurozone countries. Skeptics, of course, have noted that Greece’s debt has had to be provided to them, whereas most other countries with debt levels higher than that of Greece are financed through the open bond market.