Tax outrage: U.S. taxpayers to send billions more towards Greek bailout
The International Monetary Fund is looking at raising its share of Greece’s financial rescue package by €10bn ($13.2bn) amid fears that the planned €45bn bail-out will fail to prevent the country’s debt crisis from spiralling out of control.
Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic fell on Tuesday, with leading European indices suffering their heaviest falls of the year, after Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s long-term credit rating to junk status. The struggling nation is the first eurozone member to have its debt downgraded to junk level.
Shares in Athens fell 6 per cent as banks plunged more than 9 per cent. Greek government bonds suffered further heavy falls on growing concern that the country may need to restructure its debts in spite of the proposed eurozone and IMF rescue. Portugal’s stock market was down nearly 5 per cent as Lisbon’s long-term credit ratings were also reduced to by two notches from A plus to A minus, reflecting the country’s weakening public finances.
Senior bankers and officials in Washington and Athens told the Financial Times that the IMF was in talks to increase its aid contribution by €10bn. The fund could make that sum available under a planned three-year loan, according to an Athens-based analyst familiar with the talks.
Investors and policy specialists said that expectations of the size of the three-year package in Washington policy circles had increased to at least €70bn. The EU has so far proposed to provide €30bn and the IMF €15bn. “The fund’s current ceiling for Greece is €25bn and the release of the extra amount is under discussion,” the analyst said. The IMF declined to comment on the size of the package.
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