Differences on restructuring Greek

EU ‘needs greater resolve in effort to end crisis'

GMT 05:51 2012 Thursday ,26 January

Arab Today, arab today EU ‘needs greater resolve in effort to end crisis'

Hans-Paul Buerkner, Global Chief , Boston Consulting Group; John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco; Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman  
Davos - Arabstoday

Hans-Paul Buerkner, Global Chief , Boston Consulting Group; John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco; Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman   Europe must show more resolve to fix the debt crisis as officials race to draft rules governing the euro and bridge a widening difference over how to keep Greece's finances afloat, said delegates at the World Economic Forum."We can't wait too long," said Peter Voser,chief executive officer of Royal
Dutch/Shell. "It's two minutes before midnight."
Executives and officials are meeting in Davos, Switzerland, as bond markets show signs of stabilising after the European Central Bank last month pumped three-year emergency funding into a banking system that was in danger of seizing up.
Central bank opposed
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At the same time, governments, investors and the International Monetary Fund are split on how to restructure Greek debt, less than two months before a potential default.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said yesterday that Greece's "public creditors" will have to participate with investors. Two people familiar with the stance of the ECB's Governing Council said the central bank is opposed.
There has to be a lot more work done," David Rubenstein, the co-founder of private-equity firm Carlyle Group, said in an interview in Davos.
Davos attendees will hear from German Chancellor Angela Merkel later when she delivers the forum's opening speech. ECB president Mario Draghi will be in town tomorrow.
Delegates warned it's too soon to sound the all-clear on Europe even after the ECB's decision to pump emergency cash into the banking system staved off a bond market rout in the region.
The ECB's measures "have relieved the liquidity problems of European banks but didn't cure the financing disadvantages highly-indebted countries suffer," billionaire investor George Soros told reporters in Davos yesterday. "Half a solution isn't enough."
The views dovetail with the findings of a Bloomberg Global Poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday. Almost half of respondents identified the euro area as one of the worst to invest in, and 67 per cent predicted the crisis will deepen.
Draghi nevertheless won plaudits with 70 per cent saying they had a favourable view of him.
"I'm convinced he'll do whatever is necessary to fend off the crisis," Urs Rohner, chairman of Credit Suisse Group, said in an interview.
Deeper losses
Europe's drive to end the crisis has hit a snag as governments and investors struggle to reach an accord over how to cut Greece's debt levels. European officials are demanding that private bondholders take deeper losses, while banks argue that all holders of Greek debt, both public and private, should contribute. Failure to reach agreement could mean Greece will struggle to make a bond payment on March 20.
"No one wants to be the only one feeling the pain," said John Veihmeyer, chief executive for the Americas at KPMG, the global accounting and professional services firm.
The ECB began buying Greek bonds in May 2010 and Barclays Capital estimates it now holds about €36 billion (Dh171.98 billion) worth of bonds.
Decisive year
Some observers in Davos say leaders are refusing to grasp more dramatic measures.
This year is decisive for making decisions," said German Gref, chief executive officer of Sberbank, Russia's largest bank. "It would be considerably more rational for Greece to quit the Eurozone. For Greece, it will mean a gradual accelerating of its economy, restoring its competitiveness."
Delegates will listen to Merkel's speech for any sign she's shifted her stance on euro bonds to help out the region's most indebted countries as Europe pushes ahead with her plan to lock in stricter debt and deficit limits.


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