German banks, firms reportedly work on a joint package for Greece

13:18, May 01, 2010      

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German banks and other private sector firms wanted to contribute to a rescue package for Greece and talks between bankers, insurers, and financial officials were underway, sources close to the matter told reporters Friday.

A German private sector consortium, which included Deutsche Bank and other German financial institutions and firms, pledged between one billion to two billion euros (1.33 billion to 2.66 billion dollars) for the aid package, a source told Reuters and Bloomberg.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann would be a main coordinator of the consortium, and he had met with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday, the source said.

Schaeuble planned telephone conferences with business leaders over the weekend, when an agreement on a new austerity plan for Athens was expected to be reached between the Greek government, the International Monetary Fund and European Union representatives, German daily Handelsblatt reported.

As German banks have the second largest exposure to Greece after France, Schaeuble said here bankers and insurers could voluntarily join support for Greece.

“We would not stop anyone from making a contribution,” he said in a press conference after meeting with his Italian counterpart, Giulio Tremonti, and Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski.

A new poll by the Dimap Institute released Friday showed 53 percent of Germans would accept a Greek rescue plan if banks took part. Some analysts said the private sector’s helping hand might also help down the strong public opposition to Germany’s involvement in Greek rescue plans.

Greece, whose public deficit is equal to 13.6 percent of gross domestic product, requested an aid package from eurozone members and the IMF last week. On May 19, it must refinance an 8.5-billion-euro (11.3-billion-U.S.-dollar) bond, and Athens said it was unable to pay the money.

Source: Xinhua


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