Greek minister pushes €10bn bailout with no conditions

YANNIS Stournaras, Greece’s finance minister, has suggested a €10bn (£8.6bn) price tag for the country’s third bailout, rebuffing further austerity measures.

Stournaras spoke to Greek newspaper Proto Thema at the weekend, saying: “We are not talking about a new bailout but a support package without new terms. Until 2016 the targets – our obligations – have been set and other measures or targets cannot be required”. Greece’s existing two programmes of financial aid are worth around €240bn.

Last week, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble suggested that Greece would need a further bailout after its current programme ends in 2014, rejecting the idea that bondholders might take any further haircut, and raising a contentious issue in the run-up to Germany’s September federal election.

Stournaras also told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt that if the Greek government managed a primary surplus at some point next year, it could renegotiate terms with its international lenders, and return to issuing bonds for the first time since 2010: “Initially with a small amount, to test the market”.

European Central Bank (ECB) board member Jens Weidmann struck a different tone yesterday, saying that governments should not rely on the ECB: “That way monetary policy weakens the principle of individual responsibility and engages in a kind of redistribution that should be decided by governments”.