Merkel would welcome voluntary bank help for Greece

Chancellor Merkel said in an interview to be published she would welcome a contribution from Germany's private sector to support a Greek rescue package.

Merkel would welcome voluntary bank help for Greece

Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview to be published on Sunday she would welcome a contribution from Germany's private sector to support a Greek rescue package.

"I would very much welcome the voluntary participation from banks," Merkel said, according to advance excerpts of the interview to appear on Sunday in Bild am Sonntag.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann is helping coordinate German private sector efforts to support the rescue package, a senior banking source told Reuters on Friday.

The move wold make it easier for political leaders to sell a bailout to the German public ahead of a key state election.

The consortium has already pledged to contribute 1-2 billion euros ($1.3-2.6 billion) toward the effort, although no formal agreement has been struck, the source said, declining to give details on how the plan would work.

Ackermann, one of Germany's top executives and chairman of the Institute of International Finance bank lobby, got involved in helping to assemble the consortium after a conversation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the person said.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the plan, which would mark the first sign of private-sector involvement in the Greek rescue.

German Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle said on Friday he expected banks in Europe wanted to and would contribute to an aid package for Greece.

Ackermann has helped gather a commitment from "a handful of companies", including banks, insurers and an industrial company, one source said, without naming them. German banks have the second-biggest exposure to Greece after France.

In a previous effort to help stabilise Greece's stretched finances, Ackermann met Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou in Athens in February.

Germany is preparing to agree to contribute to a euro zone/International Monetary Fund aid package for debt-stricken Greece once IMF and European officials have agreed an austerity package for Athens. Berlin expects that to happen this weekend.

Schaeuble said aid for Greece could involve banks. Merkel's coalition government is under pressure from Germany's largest opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD), to bring banks into a solution.

While Merkel's government does not need the SPD's support to get parliamentary approval for Germany's contribution to the aid package, the opposition party could slow down the process -- a scenario the ruling coalition wants to avoid.

Reuters

Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2010, 14:48
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