May 27, 2011 / 2:54 PM / 8 years ago

Sarkozy hints at private sector debt workout option

DEAUVILLE, France, May 27 (Reuters) - French leader Nicolas Sarkozy, quizzed about Greece’s debt woes, said on Friday countries must repay their debts but if the private sector shared the burden, such a solution would not count as restructuring.

“I think we are not using the word restructuring in the right way,” said Sarkozy.

“If restructuring means a European country not paying back its debts then it is a word that will not be part of the French vocabulary,” he said.

“If the question is, can we think about how private investors or private partners can take a share of the burden, then it’s not restructuring at all. Then, there are formulas. It is not a problem and we should converge in that direction.”

Sarkozy was speaking after hosting a Group of Eight summit in the northern French seaside town of Deauville.

He had been asked at a news conference for his views on the situation in Greece and how France’s opposition to restructuring could square with pressure for some form of concession if others were keen to go that way.

Greek political leaders met for five hours on Friday but failed to reach consensus on how to exit the country’s severe debt crisis, party officials in Greece said.

EU policymakers have told Greece it must have broad political backing for debt-cutting measures, pressing for the kind of consensus achieved in Portugal, if they are to provide extra cash to plug a funding gap next year. (Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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