Debt crisis: ECB board member shuts door on Greek pleas for leniency

Sunday, October 7, 2012
By Paul Martin

Greece cannot have more time to repay its debt to the European Central Bank because it would be illegal and “illogical”, board member Joerg Asmussen has said, as he shut the door on pleas for leniency from the bank.

By Szu Ping Chan
07 Oct 2012

Mr Asmussen said that the ECB could not lengthen the time period for loans to Greece or lower interest rates as “both concessions would be a form of debt forgiveness and therefore a direct financial support for the Greek state.

“That would not be allowed under the law governing the ECB,” he said.

He also said that it would be wrong for Greece to say it needed more time but not more money.
“A temporary extension of fiscal targets automatically means that Greece needs more financial assistance from abroad.” he told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

“It is logically quite wrong to say: we need more time, but not more money.”

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