European Central Bank says no to rolling over Greece’s bonds

GREEK finance minister Yannis Stournaras was rebuffed by the European Central Bank (ECB) yesterday, after suggestions that the country’s bonds held by the bank could be rolled over.

Stournaras had suggested to Greek media that the country could push back the maturity of €4.5bn (£3.82bn) of debt, in around six months’ time, to cover a projected budget gap in 2014-15.

However, ECB board member Joerg Asmussen was quick to knock back the suggestion yesterday, saying that the ECB was banned from assisting states in such a way: “There is absolutely no way that it can be done in a way of rollover bond or whatsoever which results into monetary financing,” he said.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem also said yesterday that direct bank recapitalisation would be possible through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) after the ECB’s bank review is completed.