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German push for Greek default risks EMU-wide ‘snowball’

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
London Telegraph [1]
October 11, 2011

Germany is pushing behind the scenes for a “hard” default in Greece with losses of up to 60pc for banks and pension funds, risking a chain-reaction across southern Europe unless credible defences are established first.

Officials in Berlin told The Telegraph it is “more likely than not” that investors will suffer fresh losses on holdings of Greek debt, beyond the 21pc haircut agreed in July.

The exact level will depend on findings by the EU-IMF “Troika” in Athens.

“A lot has happened since July. Greece has fallen back on its commitments, so we have to assume that the 21pc cut is no longer enough,” said one source.

Finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble told the Frankfurter Allgemeine that the original haircuts were “probably” too low, saying banks must have “sufficient capital” to cover greater losses if need be. Estimates near 60pc have been circulating in Berlin.

Full article here [1]