Greece secures bond swap deal to hold off default
POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 8:30am
UPDATED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 8:34am
NBC News — Greece says it has secured high participation in a bond swap deal to help keep the country from default. Yet, many people blame politicians for the economic crisis. One man in central Athens friday accused politicians of looking out for themselves while people lived in the streets. Another told reporters he was angry with politicians who exempted banks that owned billions but pursued individuals who owed little in comparison.
Greece says nearly 86% of private investors have signed up for the bond swap deal, which will clear the way for the release of international rescue loans. The deal aims to cut Greece's national debt by 140 billion dollars. Private bond holders will accept a face value loss of 53.5% in exchange for new bonds with more favorable repayment terms. If the swap failed, Greece would default on its debts when it faced a large bond redemption.
The Greek economy is in the fifth year of recession. The government hopes by cutting its overall debt, Greece can gradually return to growth and repay the money it owes. With income and living standards on the decline and unemployment at record levels, people in Greece are weary with austerity measures. Many people have criticized politicians for not acting quickly enough to implement economic reforms.