Dec. 3 - Greece announces plans to spend 10 billion euros to buy back bonds through a Dutch auction-style sale as part of efforts to cut its ballooning debt by 20 billion euros. Sonia Legg reports.
10 billion euros is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount Greece will spend to buy back bonds to reduce its debt and unfreeze aid. The offer is designed to tempt bondholders to sell, in order to cut Greek debt by a net 20 billion euros. That price range is above expectations. Standard Chartered's Sarah Hewin says it's vital it attracts investors. (SOUNDBITE) (English): SARAH HEWIN, STANDARD CHARTERED, SAYING: "As long as we see a successful buy back then it will close this mini chapter for Greece. It will allow the release of the next buy-back tranche for Greece - it will keep the IMF involved which is key and it will inject some funding into an economy which is crying out for it." Austerity measures have hit Greece hard - the disabled and seriously ill the latest to stage a protest. Its lenders, the EU and IMF, came up with the bond plan last week to try and make Greece's debt more sustainable. Athens unveiled the Dutch-auction style sale ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers. Greek banks are under pressure to take part but it's not clear whether foreign investors will be quite so keen. Investors have until Friday to declare their interest with a settlement date 10 days later.