ATHENS: Greece is looking into swapping a big chunk of its bailout loans with a 50-year government bond as a way to achieve debt relief once it attains a primary budget surplus this year, an official close to the discussions said on Saturday.
Twice bailed out with ¤240bn by its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund, Greece aims at a primary budget surplus this year, excluding interest payments, which will allow it to seek debt relief from its lenders.
International lenders have already agreed they could give Athens further debt relief, likely in the form of lower financing costs or extended repayment of its loans, if it meets its fiscal targets this year.
“Among the proposals being examined at a technical level as part of debt relief measures is issuing a long-term bond with a maturity of up to 50 years to possibly replace the bilateral loans from the first bailout,” said the official who declined to be named.
The official did not disclose the size of the bond issue under discussion.