News / Economy

Merkel Downplays Rumors of Second Greek Debt Writeoff

German Chancellor and top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel makes a speech in the northern German town of Sankt Peter-Ording, July 19, 2013.
German Chancellor and top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel makes a speech in the northern German town of Sankt Peter-Ording, July 19, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Selah Hennessy
— German Chancellor Angela Merkel has played down speculation that Greece could get a second debt writedown, saying that could destabilize the eurozone.  But some analysts say a debt writedown might be exactly what's needed to keep the euro zone on track to recovery. 

Merkel held the chancellor's annual summer news conference Friday, giving her an important opportunity to address the media just months before Germans vote in the September federal election.

Europe's ongoing debt crisis is a major campaign issue and Greece was one of the main topics.
 
Speaking to reporters, she repeated her view that she does not see a debt "haircut" for Greece.

On Thursday the German finance minister was in the Greek capital Athens and came bearing the same message.

On Friday Merkel said the repercussions of a writedown would be bad for the eurozone as a whole.
 
She said if a so-called "haircut" were to take place, another country might also request a debt write-down.

Such a move, she said, would lead to uncertainty for all investors in the euro area and call into question everything that has been done in recent years to stabilize the euro zone.

Iain Begg from the European Institute at the London School of Economics said the Greek situation should be assessed in isolation.

"Greece always has to be regarded as a special debt because it is much more extreme," Begg explained. "It has a huge public debt and that debt is owed to foreigners."

Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have also received bailouts, but their loans are dwarfed in comparison to the $400 billion Greece has borrowed.

Nonetheless, Greek finances remain dire and the countries' economy keeps shrinking.  About one-quarter of the population is out of work.
 
As German federal elections loom, Mrs. Merkel may now be playing down the possibility of a debt write-down, but Begg said he thinks that perspective will have to shift.

European officials realize, he said, that Greece needs a new lifeline if its economy is to recover.

"You want to sort out the problems in the public sector but you aggravate them by squeezing too hard," Begg added. "And I think the European partners recognize this, which is why I think in the coming months you will see some moves to alleviate the pressure of public debt on the Greek economy."

Recent polls have shown that Merkel is likely to win the vote in Germany, which will be held on September 22.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.