By Ria Novosti
Greece and its private creditors are close to reaching a agreement on the voluntary debt swap, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told journalists in Athens.
“We are one step away from completing the PSI process,” the minister said. “It all should be completed within the next few days, because the public offer of the PSI should be made before February 15.”
The country’s president Lukas Papademos said in an interview with Reuters that the deal will be reached “in the coming days.”
“We made significant progress over the last few weeks and in the last few days in particular. We are trying to conclude the discussions as quickly as possible. I am quite optimistic an agreement will be reached in the coming days,” he said.
He also pledged fresh austerity measures in exchange for international financial support.
Greece has to simultaneously discuss the PSI deal and terms for its 130-billion euro ($158 billion) EU-IMF bailout to avert an unruly default.
The Financial Times reported it had obtained a copy of Germany’s proposal that suggests that the EU should get powers to veto Greek government’s budget decisions if they are not in line with European targets.
“Given the disappointing compliance so far, Greece has to accept shifting budgetary sovereignty to the European level for a certain period of time,” the document reads.
Athens is planning further measures to save some $33 billion through 2015. The country’s total debt has ballooned to $490 billion.