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Who will buy Greece’s new debt deal?

Monday, February 02, 2015 - 02:22

Greece's leftist government has begun its campaign to persuade a sceptical Europe to accept a new debt agreement. As Sonia Legg reports there is already alarm in Europe over its moves to roll back on austerity measures.

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London, Paris, Rome - they're all on the itinerary. But this is no simple meet and greet for Greece's new Finance Minister - there's far too much at stake. Yanis Varoufakis wants Europe to agree a new debt deal. He and his Syriza colleagues have already effectively torn up the old one by rolling back austerity measures. In Paris on Sunday he said Greece had to go 'cold turkey' and end its 'addiction' to bailouts (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK FINANCE MINISTER, YANIS VAROUFAKIS, SAYING: "My concern as a European first is that this present bailout programme is costing the rest of Europe - not just us - too much." Greek stocks welcomed the drive - Athens Stock Exchange gained almost 6% with some bank shares up 22%. But other countries may not be as willing to help as France seemed to be. Germany, of course, is the most reluctant. Robert Halver from Baader Bank says Varoufakis is effectivelty blackmailling Europe with the ultimate threat - a euro exit. (SOUNDBITE) (German) CAPITAL MARKET ANALYST FROM BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "One or two in the euro zone may like the idea of a debt haircut debate because they also have debts. But if we allow this, the euro zone will be morally eaten like a rotten apple and that doesn't work." The Greek government says the ECB can provide the necessary support - in the form of a bridging loan - while a deal is worked out. But FxPro's Simon Smith says that's very presumptuous. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMON SMITH, EUROPEAN ECONOMIST, FXPRO, SAYING: "The ECB will provide such funding so long as the finances of the country are stable - the situation where a country becomes wholly reliant on funding from the ECB is not really within the confines in which the agreement was put up." That option also means the ECB - not politicians - decides whether Greece stays in the euro zone. And the message from Germany's Finance Minister was clear. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER, WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE, SAYING: "Greece has a tough path behind it, but in the last years it has made more progress than most people thought possible a few years ago. We want Greece to continue going down this successful path in the interests of Greece and the Greeks, but we will not accept one-sided changes to the programme." Greece's new Prime Minister has also been out of the country. He's been comparing notes with neighbouring Cyprus which has also faced the prospect of a euro exit. The main difference - Cyprus is still complying with the reform package it agreed with the European Union.

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Who will buy Greece’s new debt deal?

Monday, February 02, 2015 - 02:22