Europe Economy

Austria Demands Bailout Collateral From Greeks

Associated Press

Austria insisted Wednesday it will seek collateral from Greece for participating in bailing out Athens as long as Finland has the same deal.

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The Finns have struck a deal to secure 20-percent cash security guarantees from Greece. Other euro zone nations—including rich members like the Netherlands and Germany—oppose the deal, since it would be financed through Greece's 109 billion euro ($158 billion) bailout.

If the arrangement between Greece and Finland is not canceled, Austria will ask for similar terms, Finance Minister Maria Fekter said.

She said such a unilateral deal is an "intolerable suggestion and an agreement that burdens third parties"—.

Fekter said she will ask the EU's 27 finance ministers to approve Austria's demand that the same terms must apply to all countries shouldering the Greek financial burden. The Netherlands, Slovenia and Slovakia have indicated they would like similar treatment.

Finland's prime minister Jyrki Katainen said his government was open to changing details of the deal reached last week, which would see Greece depositing hundreds of millions of euros in a Finnish account to ensure the Nordic country won't make a loss in the case of a default.

Katainen said Wednesday that talks are aimed at finding a solution that won't harm any other countries in the 17-country euro zone.