Bloomberg News

Euro-Area Finance Chiefs to Hold Conference Call on Greece

July 01, 2011

(Adds comments from Juncker’s spokesman in fourth paragraph. See EXT4 for more on Europe’s debt crisis.)

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Euro-area finance ministers will decide on a 12 billion-euro ($17.4 billion) Greek aid payment tomorrow after Jean-Claude Juncker moved up the talks and cancelled a meeting planned for July 3.

The finance chiefs from the 17 nations using the euro will hold a conference call at 6 p.m. Brussels time tomorrow on releasing the payment, the fifth tranche from last year’s 110 billion-euro bailout for Greece, the spokesman for Juncker, who leads the so-called eurogroup, said today by telephone. A statement by the ministers after the call is “highly probable,” said the spokesman, Guy Schuller.

“There was no need to meet physically anymore because the only remaining decision at this stage is on the disbursement of the fifth tranche,” Schuller said. “Other issues, such as the private-sector involvement, will be discussed on July 11,” when the ministers hold their next regularly scheduled meeting.

“I’m certain we now have a sufficient consensus that we can take a decision during the weekend on the fifth tranche of the Greek loan package,” European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said today in a Bloomberg Television interview in Helsinki. “We have now contained the crisis to the three more vulnerable countries.”

While this weekend’s talks will focus on releasing the 12 billion-euro payment the finance chiefs also are working on a second bailout for Greece after banks lined up behind debt- rollover plans and Greek lawmakers approved more budget cuts.

The debt-strapped nation may receive as much as 85 billion euros in new financing, including a contribution from private investors, in the new rescue package, Thomas Wieser, head of the Austrian Finance Ministry’s economic policy and financial markets department, said at a briefing with Finance Minister Maria Fekter in Vienna late yesterday.

The International Monetary Fund will put up 30 percent of the new funds, with euro-area countries and private investors contributing the remaining 70 percent, Wieser said.

--With assistance from Diana ben-Aaron in Helsinki, Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna and Andrea Catherwood in London. Editors: Jones Hayden, Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net; Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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