Adam Ewing and Marcus Bensasson
January 17, 2012
Greece is insolvent and probably won’t be able to honor a bond payment in March as the country negotiates with creditors to cut its debt burden, Fitch Ratings Managing Director Edward Parker said.
The euro area’s most indebted country is unlikely to be able to honor a March 20 bond payment of 14.5 billion euros ($18 billion), Parker said today in an interview in Stockholm. Efforts to arrange a private sector deal on how to handle Greece’s obligations would constitute a default, he said.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is scheduled to meet tomorrow with a group representing private bondholders after a five-day break to hold talks on forgiving at least 50 percent of the nation’s debt in the euro area’s first sovereign restructuring. Greece’s official creditors begin talks Jan. 20 on spending curbs and budget cuts that will determine whether to disburse additional aid.
“The so-called private sector involvement, for us, would count as a default, it clearly is a default in our book,” Parker said. “So it won’t be a surprise when the Greek default actually happens and we expect it one way or the other to be relatively soon.”