Ireland and Portugal are seeking better conditions on the repayment of the received aid. The aim is to extend the payment of maturities further down the road.
Ireland's finance minister is looking for such an option in order to ease the country's near-term burden and accelerate the return to normal borrowing conditions in the financial markets, after being locked out of them back in September of 2010.
As Reuters notes: "Ireland's Michael Noonan told journalists he and his Portuguese peer had presented a joint request for an extension of the maturity of the loans from the European Financial Stability Facility."
Reuters adds, quoting Noonan: "We arranged a way of presenting a joint request. If you had a term loan to build an extension to your house and you were able to convert it into a mortgage which you will extend over a long period, you can see that your repayment profile will come down. It has been referred to a group of officials to examine it."
Jean-Claude Juncker, the outgoing president of the Eurogroup, is thought to examine the request in the case of Portugal.
France aims to get ECB's bank supervisory job
France is proposing as candidate to head up the ECB's new bank supervisory role, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Monday, according to Reuters.
The authority will supervise over 150 of the largest euro zone's banks, starting in the first quarter of 2014. "We have a candidate for this post, it's not a mystery and I hope that she will convince," Moscovici said.
As Reuters notes: "The secretary general of France's ACP financial sector regulator, Daniele Nouy, has so far been cited as well placed to chair the board of the new body."
Eurogroup statement on Greece
Following talks from Euro-zone officials that Greece is well on track and showing signs of progress on the bailout program, the Eurogroup statement on Greece follows:
"The Eurogroup notes with satisfaction that the MoU milestones for January, agreed between Greece and the Troika, have been achieved. In particular, an income tax reform has been adopted and enduser electricity prices for low-voltage customers as well as the levy on renewable energy sources have been adjusted. We welcome the commitment of the government to adopt a simplification of the income tax code by spring."
"Against this background, the Eurogroup looks forward to the disbursement later this month of EUR 2 billion of the second instalment under the second economic adjustment programme for Greece, to be formally decided by the EFSF Board of Directors."
"Furthermore, the Eurogroup recalls that a further amount to cover bank recapitalisation and resolution costs of EUR 7.2 billion will also be paid out to Greece following the formal decision by the EFSF Board of Directors."
Jeroen Dijsselbloem appointed new head of the Eurogroup
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister, has been confirmed as the new president of the Eurogroup. As a peculiar note, German finance minister Mr. Schauble said Spain did not support the appointment of Dijsselbloem for head of the Eurogroup.
The Eurogroup press conference started with the outgoing Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, saying that the EU agreed with the IMF that fiscal consolidation should be continued in differentiated manner.
With regards to Cyprus, Juncker noted that the Eurozone finance ministers had delayed a €17bn bailout until March this year, amid concerns of the sizeable rescue package.
Juncker had a special mention for Spain too, expressing please that the banking program remains on track. While for Ireland, Juncker said that "Ireland is a living example that adjustment programs work"
Meanwhile, after reports that Greece may need an additional €9.2 Bln, the bloc's finance ministers reportedly support the disbursement in further support for Greece. Eurogroup ‘noted with satisfaction’ the progress on the Greek rescue program.
When the floor was given to Oliver Rehn, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, he said the eurogroup has taken stock of progress on direct bank recapitalisation. He cited some ‘complex technical issues’ remain on direct recaps.
When the microphone turned to Klaus Regling, head of the ESM, he told reporters that the ESM supports troika's recomendations on Spain, which should initiate a second stage on the ongoing bank recapitalisation. Regling also said Spain disbursement worth €26 Bln is lower than anticipated.