Germany is putting its foot down in the Greek tragedy and suppressing some of the optimism over the coming course of action for the debt-laden nation as the Finance Minister provides a new insight and the need for investors to contribute to the second bailout projected for Greece.
After we saw optimism in the market with the start of the week on comments from Trichet support the bond rollover for Greece, which he said does not account as default and urged investors to take the new bonds over their maturing holdings, Germany had a new idea about the next step, assuring that the debate over what to give Greece is still ongoing among the EU nations.
Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said that bondholders must be part of the new bailout for Greece. He said that they should be a substantial share of the second bailout and proposed a swap of the debt, which on the contrary to what the ECB favors; this plan might be seen as default by credit-rating agencies.
In a letter sent on June 06, Schaeuble told the ECB president and the euro area finance ministers that his idea is to extend the maturities on Greek bonds by seven years to provide more time for the debt-laden nation to adjust its dreadful fiscal conditions.
In the letter he said that the agreement for another aid for Greece which is expected on June 20 at a ministers' meeting has to include a clear mandate -- given to Greece possibly together with the IMF -- to initiate the process of involving holders of Greek bonds.
We can see the different views starting to arise, which might suppress the optimism that prevailed in the market over the past week. The EU and the ECB favor investor consent rather than compulsory action with regards to Greek bonds, where they are against anything that goes beyond voluntary rollover of debt, which is the opposite of the debt maturity extension suggested by Germany, or what is called swaps.
Fitch Ratings said earlier this week that a swap offering worse terms that those existing for the securities will be considered a coercive or distressed exchange and would be considered a default.
The euro already started to feel the heat and surrendered the gains to a stronger dollar as the comments fuel skepticism and fear that the Greek tragedy is far from over and the second bailout might not be with as easy terms as expected before.
The EUR/USD is currently hovering around $1.4646 down from the earlier highs of $1.4694.