Europe Economy

Friday Is Not Deadline for Debt Swap: Greek Debt Office

Reporting by Guy Johnson, Written by Patrick Allen |CNBC Anchor, CNBC EMEA Head of News

The boss of the Greek debt office (PDMA) has told CNBC that Friday is not the deadline for the debt swap plan.

Jorg Greuel | Getty Images

Petros Christodoulou spoke with CNBC in Athens and outlined how the debt swap plan is progressing.

“A letter of inquiry has been sent out with the purpose of discovering where the bonds are," Christodoulou said. "This has been done in conjunction with the ministry of finance which has reached out to other finance ministries around the world.”

“This is not a memorandum of understanding and has not been sent to investors directly. The letter sets out four proposals/options for the swap which investors can see on the PDMA.GR website. There is though still some flexibility in the offer at this stage,” said Christodoulou, who now expects 57 ministries of finance to set out how many bonds are held in their jurisdictions and roughly what their interest is.

“This is in no way binding and is merely part of the discovery phase,” he said.

The market had been expecting the deadline for a binding offer to Greek bond holders to be made on Friday, but this is not the case said an apparently irate Christodoulou.

“The reason that a formal offer is not being made at this stage is that Greece is not able to make one," he said, "because the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) rules have not been changed to allow it.”

The European Financial Stability Facility was created by euro area member states and is able to issue bonds to member states in financial difficulty.

“Europe's parliaments must not vote through the changes," Christodoulou said. “Once the rules are changed and the zero coupon bonds can be issued by the EFSF, then a formal offer can be made. This is expected at the back end of October."