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Bundesbank's Weidmann : Greek Debt Writedown Question Open

11/16/2012 | 07:17am US/Eastern
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By Harriet Torry

BERLIN--The head of Germany's Bundesbank said Friday the question of a writedown of Greek debt is "open," but said that such a move would raise difficult questions over the willingness toward reform programs in other euro-zone countries.

Jens Weidmann, who is also a governing council member of the European Central Bank, didn't specify whether any potential debt writedown would involve private creditors or the public sector.

"Debt sustainability is not a given," in Greece, Mr. Weidmann said at an economic forum in Berlin. He added that a writedown wouldn't solve Greece's problems without reform.

Mr. Weidmann also said the ECB is acting outside of its monetary policy mandate with the Outright Monetary Transactions program, through which the ECB can purchase unlimited amounts of government bonds from states that have agreed to terms for financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism.

"I think that we are no longer in the core area of monetary policy [with OMT]," Mr. Weidmann said in a podium discussion.

Write to Harriet Torry at harriet.torry@dowjones.com

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