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Expert suggests rescheduling maturity of Greek debt

06-08-2010 15:34 BJT Special Report: Europe's Debt Crisis |

by Liang Yeqian, Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Greek debt crisis can be solved in the future through the rescheduling of maturities of the debt, a local analyst says.

As soon as the austerity measures introduced by the Greek government this spring bring positive results, Greece should reschedule the payments of its debt, perhaps next year, suggests Ion Koufopandelis, president of Eurocorp S.A. corporate and investment services group.

Since the debt crisis broke out in Greece late 2009, the government and European Union (EU) partners, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have disclosed a series of measures and reforms to reassure the international community that Athens will repay creditors and solve its economic woes.

"I do not consider Greece has a debt crisis today. A liquidity crisis and a huge debt can be solved in the future with a rescheduling of maturities and not a default," Koufopandelis told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Greek authorities and banks could discuss with creditors an extension of the maturities of the debt that will benefit both, he added, noting that the financial community is worried about Greece's capacity to pay the debt because many maturities are concentrated in some years.

"Bankruptcy is not an option," Koufopandelis said. "It would mean collapse of the country, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was correct when he said that we have no other choice but resort to this mechanism to solve the crisis."

Koufopandelis is confident in the financial aid mechanism set up by the EU and the IMF to support Greece and other euro zone members facing liquidity and other problems.

The mechanism, Koufopandelis said, "is sufficient for the time being."

He doesn't blame Europeans for reacting slowly to the crisis as other commentators have done. With the activation of the mechanism, he no longer fears an expansion of the crisis across the continent.

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