The 16 nations that make up the Eurozone announced April 11 that they would provide some $40 billion (30 billion euros) in loans over the next three years to Greece, at a below-market 5% fixed interest rate, in a bid to shore up the credit markets for Greek debt ahead of Greece’s planned April 12 issuance of new three- and six-month paper. The current three-year Greek bond has a yield of 6.98%.
Eurozone finance ministers said an additional $20 billion (15 billion euros) in loans will also be available to Greece from the International Monetary Fund, which will hold talks on April 12 with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and Greek officials to discuss its loan package.
In an interview published before the finance ministers’ announcement on the Financial Times’s Web site on April 11, noted hedge fund manager George Soros warned “It is 50-50 whether the eurozone breaks up. The damage that breakup would cause is so great, that I think that as people realize it, they will pull back from the brink…But we are at the brink now…a solution has to be found in a matter of days.”
Soros in particular called on the German government to find a solution to the Greek problem, and for the IMF to step up as well. “The IMF is in the business of making emergency loans with conditions and that is what Greece needs,” Soros said.
In early currency trading on April 12, the euro rose sharply against the dollar.