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Debt restructuring in the euro area: A necessary but manageable evil?


  • Zsolt Darvas


There are two possible responses to the Greek debt crisis - ‘Plan A’, continued official lending, for as long as needed, with possible voluntary private sector involvement, and ‘Plan B’, coercive pre-emptive or post-default restructuring with significant face value reduction. Both options have risks, but it is necessary to move to Plan B sooner or later. The impact on Greece could be mitigated by foreign bank ownership and proper liquidity support measures. The direct spillover impact on the rest of the euro area seems small. But there is the risk of contagion, which is a serious concern. There is a cautious case for delaying somewhat Plan B in order to prepare for it.

Suggested Citation

  • Zsolt Darvas, 2011. "Debt restructuring in the euro area: A necessary but manageable evil?," Policy Contributions 567, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:polcon:567

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gelos, R. Gaston & Sahay, Ratna & Sandleris, Guido, 2011. "Sovereign borrowing by developing countries: What determines market access?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 243-254, March.
    2. Barry Eichengreen, 2010. "The Breakup of the Euro Area," NBER Chapters,in: Europe and the Euro, pages 11-51 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Zsolt Darvas & Christophe Gouardo & Jean Pisani-Ferry & André Sapir, 2011. "A comprehensive approach to the euro-area crisis: Background calculations," Working Papers 499, Bruegel.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvia Gloggnitzer & Isabella Lindner, 2011. "Economic Governance Reform and Financial Stabilization in the EU and in the Eurosystem – Treaty-Based and Intergovernmental Decisions," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 36-58.
    2. Guntram B. Wolff, 2011. "Changing of the guard - Challenges ahead for the new ECB president," Policy Contributions 600, Bruegel.
    3. Zsolt Darvas, 2012. "The euro crisis: ten roots, but fewer solutions," Policy Contributions 755, Bruegel.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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