Open Europe Blog

Open Europe has responded to the agreement between the Greek government and its private creditors which laid out how much and under what format the country’s massive €360bn debt burden should be written down. The deal involved private sector bondholders agreeing to a 53.5% nominal write-down, while so-called Collective Action Clauses (CACs) will be used meaning that Greece is now technically in a state of default – precisely what EU leaders have spent two years trying to avoid. While marking a small step forward, Open Europe notes that the deal is unlikely to save Greece, and that the country is still on course for a full default in three years’ time, if not sooner.

In our response we note:

“With the use of CACs Greece has entered a coercive restructuring or default – something which Greece and the eurozone have spent two years trying to avoid. While the financial markets can handle the triggering of CDS that this will entail, at some point serious questions need to be asked over the amount of time and money which policymakers have wasted on what has ultimately amounted to a failed policy. Instead, Greece should have undergone a full restructuring combined with a series of pro-growth measures.”

“There will be plenty of optimism in the corridors of power around the eurozone today, some of it justified – Greece has avoided a chaotic and unpredictable meltdown. However, this deal could end up being a Pyrrhic victory: the debt relief for Greece is far too small which means that another default could be around the corner, while the austerity targets are wholly unrealistic and kill off growth prospects. Furthermore, Greece’s debt will end up being almost completely owned by eurozone taxpayers and by exempting official taxpayer-backed institutions from the write-down, the deal has created a distorted, two-tier bond market.”

See here for the full response.

Update 17:00: Based on our figures and projections, the Telegraph has produced a handy graphic showing the break-down of the restructuring, the details of the write-down and where the money from the second bailout will end up. View it here.

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