20 Apr 2010
Borrowing costs and the progress of talks with European and IMF officials will determine whether Greece triggers an international aid mechanism, the country’s finance minister has stated.
Greek borrowing costs hit a fresh high in mid-April and investors increasingly believe the discussions will lead Greece to tap an aid package of 40-45 billion euros ($53.8bn).
“There is no chance that Greece will be left high and dry in May. Greece will borrow either from the markets or from its partners,” George Papaconstantinou told a news conference.
Greece sold 1.95 billion euros worth of three month T-bills on April 20 but paid a high yield of 3.65 percent. Papaconstantinou said this brought the country’s May borrowing needs to below 10 billion euros.
“The Greek government will decide on whether to ask the activation of the mechanism when it considers it is needed, and this will depend both on the borrowing conditions and the progress of the talks,” he said.
The yield premium investors demand to buy 10-year Greek bonds rather than German debt rose to a euro lifetime high of 484 basis points, as uncertainty over the aid package showed little sign of easing ahead of talks.
Papaconstantinou said the talks would last at least 10 days and would focus on austerity measures for 2011 and 2012.
“The government has taken very bold and hard fiscal measures for 2010 … What is under discussion is the specification of fiscal measures for the next two years.”
He said the talks would not necessarily end with a deal, adding: “There may be a framework to which we may return at a later date.”
“Our plan for a roadshow remains. We have not decided the time but it surely won’t be this weekend,” he said.