EU Boosts Pressure on Greece

Time is running out for Greece as leaders haggle, Merkel says.

European leaders stepped up pressure on Greek politicians to accept the conditions for a 130 billion-euro ($171 billion) bailout, saying time was running out.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris today as Greece’s interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos, and chiefs of the three parties supporting him sought to find consensus in Athens. They agreed in a five-hour meeting yesterday to make additional reductions this year equal to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product.

Rescue Blueprint

The rescue blueprint includes a loss of more than 70 percent for bondholders in a voluntary debt exchange and loans that will probably exceed the 130 billion euros now on the table. A formal offer for the debt swap must be made by Feb. 13 to allow all procedures to be completed before the March 20 bond comes due.

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