Hedge fund legend Soros insists on Greek debt haircut | Business | Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.10.2013

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Hedge fund legend Soros insists on Greek debt haircut

Famous US investor George Soros has said Greece will not recover without another major debt write-down scheme. He also warned that Germany's austerity recipe could engender more extremism in the southern eurozone nation.

US large-scale investor George Soros (pictured) told Germany's "Spiegel online" business editors that another international debt haircut for crisis-stricken Greece was inevitable.

"Everyone knows the country will never be able to pay back its debt," Soros insisted. He said his talks with business partners had convinced him that private investors would be willing to return to Greece once the repayment of public debt was off the table. This, he argued, would allow the country to recover fast.

But it's been the outgoing German government in particular which has refused to even talk about another write-down on Greek debt. Berlin has only signaled it would be willing to agree to lower interest rates and perhaps grant a longer period for debt repayment.

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Crackdown on Golden Dawn

George Soros admitted it would be a hard battle to get the public creditors to forego what they were supposed to get from Athens, as it would breach many political taboos again and would be tough to communicate to taxpayers.

But he said Germany should recall its own history after World War II, when it profited several times from debt cancellations .

The US investor urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to rethink her austerity policy towards Greece. Soros said the situation was neither stable nor tolerable in the southern European nation, and that in his viewa break-up of the European Union could not be ruled out .

Soros also believed that current policies could easily lead to more right-wing extremism, with far-right groups such as Golden Dawn receiving a new breeding ground.