ATHENS – Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said if the European Central Bank (ECB) won’t agree to a delay in payments on Greek bonds it holds then it won’t get paid.
The ECB has some 27 billion euros ($30 billion) in Greek bonds. “It’s quite simple, these bonds must be pushed into the future, this is clear also to the ECB,” Varoufakis told a conference.
The Greek bonds were part of a batch purchased by the ECB in 2010 and 2011, Varoufakis said. Private investors in that period were stiffed with 74 percent losses but the country’s lenders, the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) were exempted.
Athens in July and August is already scheduled to repay over 6 billion euros to the ECB from the same bonds in July and August, Varoufakis said.
“The finance will have to borrow from our peers, in some way, to repay them,” he said as Greece is locked in stalled talks with the troika over unfinished reforms delaying release of a 7.2-billion installment the country needs desperately.
Varoufakis has warned that the country risks running out of cash within two weeks if no deal is reached with its creditors to unlock the last tranche of aid funds but the same warning has been given for the last few months without coming to realization.