PARIS/ATHENS (Reuters) – Support is gaining ground in the euro zone for giving Greece more time to pay back its EU bailout to avoid default and ease the worst-indebted EU state’s debt burden, although details still have to be pinned down.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose country is pivotal to any solution as Europe’s strongest economy, did not rule out a radical reprofiling of Greek debt in a television interview broadcast on Sunday evening.
“Most market participants expect this problem to be tackled in a responsible way,” Schauble said when asked whether Athens would be forced to restructure its debt.
Reuters reported on Friday that German central bank chief Axel Weber, frontrunner to be the next president of the European Central Bank, has suggested transforming international rescue lending to Greece and Ireland into 30-year loans in a bid to draw a line under the euro area’s debt crisis.
Weber floated his idea in closed-door talks with finance ministers, central bankers and private bankers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, two euro zone sources said.