Greece proposes bond swap in hopes for debt renegotiation

Greece has started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over its plan to swap existing government debt for growth-linked bonds, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview published on Wednesday, according to Reuters news agency.

Varoufakis also said he was optimistic that the Greek debt problem would be solved and had received good feedback during meetings with financiers in London on Monday.
The Greek Finance Minister promised in an interview with a German newspaper that his country will “never again” have a budget deficit and tried to reassure Germany that Athens’ new policies did not mean it was turning its back on reform.

“The Germans have to understand that it doesn’t mean we are straying from the reform path if we give a pensioner who lives on 300 euros a month an extra 300 euros a year,” the minister, who is due to visit Berlin on Thursday, told Die Zeit.

“I can promise you Greece will – apart from interest payments – never again present a budget deficit. Never, never, never!” said Varoufakis, adding that the new Greek government “will never seek financial help from Moscow”.

He is scheduled to meet German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Thursday after touring Europe to drum up support for plans to halt the austerity policies prescribed by Berlin.
The euro has risen against the dollar since the news of the new debt swap on Tuesday and it has regained the key $1.14 handle.

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