Regling: No need to worry about Greek debt levels

There is no need to worry about Greece’s debt levels because its loans have a low funding cost, the Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling said in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday.

Asked by a journalist who will stabilise the Mediterranean countries, he said: “I think it’s a little bit outdated, because we have stabilised them up to now. No need to worry about the Greek debt level; they have a debt of 180 percent in terms of GDP, that is true. But half of that is with the ESM, with my institution, and we only charge our funding costs, about one percent. So Greece has no debt overhang at the moment, because we give loans for over 30 years.”

Regling said the ESM has been lending money to Portugal and Spain and Cyprus, and they are all benefitting from ESM lending terms. Italy has never been a “client” of the ESM because it never lost market access.