Rehn calls for more public funds to bail out Greek government

Julian Harris
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TAXPAYERS across Europe will have to cough up more funds to bail out the Greek government, according to the EU’s top economic official.

Economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn was speaking as talks between Greek authorities and private debt holders rolled on. Last night both sides confirmed that negotiations “on legal and technical issues” will continue today.

It is believed that after weeks of push and shove over the level of interest payable on replacement bonds, attention has now shifted to whether the European Central Bank and other public creditors will follow private bondholders in swallowing losses.

Rehn admitted yesterday: “There is likely to be some increased need of official sector funding”. However, raised contributions would “not [be] anything dramatic”, he claimed.

Tory backbench MP Douglas Carswell said Rehn was being “absurd”. “We should say politely but firmly no,” Carswell suggested.

Nonetheless, Rehn sounded upbeat over the talks. “I would expect it will be concluded in the coming days, preferably still in January, not February,” he predicted.