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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Expecting Drop in Interest RatesThursday, 01 April 2010 15:34
Political developments still focus on Greece's high borrowing cost. Greek bonds yield spread went 4 basis points up to 352 due to unclear terms of European support plan giving arousing concern among the economic staff. However, in an interview with newspaper "Himerisia", Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou stressed that the government did not plan to rush to use Brussels support mechanism. The IMF belied reports about " IMF extraordinary meeting" on Greece.
One week after the Brussels accord and markets are still reserved, a fact depicted in the course of spreads, from 333 basis points on Holy Tuesday to 349bp on Holy Wednesday and 352bp on Holy Thursday to drop later to 344.
"Markets have their rules. We did not have the illusion that interest rates would directly drop", the government spokesman.
"High spreads reflect feeling of insecurity among investors caused by the country's high state debt and question about its credibility" stresses FinMin George Papakonstantinou in an interview with "Himerisia", adding that the government's intention is to combat tax evasion and put end to impunity.
He also said that priority would be placed on privatizations and opening of closed professions after Easter. Spreads are at a continuous... SPRID. There is uncertaintyfor as long as spread basis points remain above 200bp. Regarding underrating of Greek banks, our proposal is for the "NATIONAL BANK" to clear up waterloo with Turkish źFINANSBANK╗ and seek for merging with serious bank institutions threatened by the financial crisis", said LAOS.
"Mr. Papakonsatntinou spoke of a big victory in Brussels but facts speak themselves. Spreads are going up, Greek banks are underrated, while unemployment rate is rising, the social security system dissolving and the majority of Greek people becoming poorer" said SYN party.
IMF Belies Reports about Extraordinary Meeting
General directors are holding a meeting to discuss economic developments although the exact role of IMF in Greece's rescue plan has not been cleared.
On Holy Thursday, the IMF belied reports about "extraordinary meeting" on Greece. An official announcement says "IMF meeting in its headquarters in Washington is a scheduled informal meeting to brief the executive council on developments in Greece".
"Such informal meetings of the executive council is a common practice", says the IMF announcement. Reports say that IMF chief and other officials are in close contact with EU senior officials for the settlement of details regarding support mechanism for Greece if necessary.
Greece's rescue plan will be also discussed during German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with British Prime-minister Gordon Brown in London.
Sources: ═┼ď-═┼ď 105.8-┴NA/╠PA
News item: 35036