European markets plunge as Greece threatens to default

European stockmarkets plunged as Greece threatened its international creditors with a default.

People shout during a huge anti-austerity demonstration in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square

Athens needs to meet a €14.5bn bond repayment due in under two weeks’ time Photo: Reuters

9:08PM GMT 06 Mar 2012

Bourses across Europe shed more than 3pc each as Greece said it was ready to impose the €206bn restructuring on bondholders who do not vote for it by the 8pm GMT deadline on Thursday.

After a meeting in Frankfurt on Tuesday, the Greek Debt Management Agency “confirmed” that, if a majority of bondholders agree to the deal, it “intends… to declare the proposed amendments effective and binding on all holders”.

Traders took the statement as a warning that Greece was expecting to use the Collect Action Clauses (CACs) to force through the deal. Rating agencies have warned that the retrospective measure, which was approved by Greek politicians last month, would constitute a sovereign default – the first in the eurozone’s history.

A leaked document written by the International Institute of Finance (IIF), the body that negotiated with the Greek government on behalf of private bondholders, warned of “some important and damaging ramifications” from a Greek default. In the document, dated last month, the IIF said it was “difficult to add all these contingent liabilities up with any degree of precision, although it is hard to see how they would not exceed €1 trillion”.

The fresh alarm was stark in the latest figures from the European Central Bank (ECB) that showed overnight deposits had hit yet another record level. Banks parked €827bn with the ECB rather than lend it to smaller banks.

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One Response to European markets plunge as Greece threatens to default

  1. Pingback: Greek default looms as voluntary debt deal looks set to fail - I Love London Ontario / Love Local / Buy Local

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