The Eurozone agreed that debt relief for Greece should be accomplished by capping its debt servicing costs at 15% of the GDP. Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem – the Dutch FinMin – said on Thursday that there is “a broad understanding about the method we should choose, that is to look at the annual financing needs for the sovereign debt.”
Athens and the IMF had been pushing for a debt haircut on Greece’s debt, that is 180% of the GDP for 2015. The eurozone governments, however, argue that what matters moer than the nominal value of debt is how much it burdens the economy through annual debt servicing costs.
Two thirds of Greece’s debt is held by the eurozone governments following two bailouts since 2010.Extended loans to Athens have an average maturity of 31-32 years and an interest rate of around 1%. Dijsselbloem believes that the fact that Greece doesn’t have to start repaying loans until 2022 makes the annual debt burden manageable, indicating that upfront debt relief is unnecessary. “We will see if there are any financing peaks in the coming 30 years,” he said.
The European Stability Mechanism’s analysis reveals that the first financial humps will occur in 15 years.