ECB chief leaves door open to bond help to Greece

European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said on Thursday the bank could distribute any profits it makes on Greek bond holdings to member governments.

That might leave open a legal door for it to help lighten Greeces debt load.

Some officials have said the ECB should contribute to a bailout package for Greece by foregoing profits on its Greek bondholdings. It holds an estimated €55 billion in face value but bought them for around €40 billion.

Draghi rejected the ECB taking actual loss on the bonds, saying that would be illegal financing of government by the central bank. He turned aside however questions about foregoing profits.

He said that ”if the ECB distributes part of its profits to its member countries” according to their shares of ECB capital ”that’s not monetary financing.” [AP]

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