There is a very real chance that the eurozone countries will have to write off part of their loans to Greece because the banks have not contributed enough, former Dutch bank chief Nout Wellink says in an interview with Monday’s Financieele Dagblad.
Such a large part of the Greek state debt has been financed by governments that they will not be excluded from any eventual restructuring.
‘The balance between the public and private sector has changed so much that if write-offs have to be made, it is unimaginable that government’s will escape,’ Wellink is quoted as saying.
Despite finance minister Jan Kees de Jager’s insistence that the Netherlands will get its money back, this is not a realistic picture, Wellink said.
‘There is one inconsistency in the story which all the politicians are telling. You can say, like our minister, that the government will always get its money back, but if you take on an increasingly large share of Greek debt, the chance of that happening decreases,’ Wellink said.
The Netherlands is responsible for €4.7bn of the €110bn loan made to Greece in May 2010. Its share of the new €130bn loan has yet to be finalised, the FD said.