Xinhua, BRUSSELS — Finance ministers of eurozone countries failed to agree on a new financing plan for Greece at an emergency meeting Tuesday, fighting over the degree of private sector involvement in additional rescue for Athens.

“There has been no result,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters after talks in Brussels which ended late Tuesday.

The emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers had been called to build consensus on the degree of private sector involvement in the new rescue plan for debt-laden Greece.

Xinhua, BRUSSELS — Finance ministers of eurozone countries failed to agree on a new financing plan for Greece at an emergency meeting Tuesday, fighting over the degree of private sector involvement in additional rescue for Athens.

“There has been no result,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters after talks in Brussels which ended late Tuesday.

The emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers had been called to build consensus on the degree of private sector involvement in the new rescue plan for debt-laden Greece.

Germany, Europe’s paymaster, has insisted on significant involvement of private bondholders if further aid to Greece has to be delivered.

Schaeuble said last week that the holders of Greek debt should be forced to extend the maturities of their debt by seven years to prevent bankruptcy, a move credit rating agencies said may amount to a default.

Germany’s position was backed by The Netherlands.

The European Central Bank (ECB), however, warned that any forced involvement of private bondholders would create chaos in the financial markets.

Instead, the ECB, supported by the European Commission and France, is pushing for a plan under which bondholders voluntarily agree to buy new Greek bonds to replace maturing debts, thus giving Greece longer periods to pay back.

Italian central banker Mario Draghi, who is due to take over as president of the ECB later this year, said Tuesday that private investors could be involved in a solution for Greece provided that this was “entirely voluntary.” He rejected the option of a debt default.

“The cost of a real default will exceed the benefits and will not address the root causes. Moreover, we do not know what contagion effects it will have,” Draghi said at a European Parliament hearing, reiterating the ECB’s opposition to any compulsory involvement of the private sector.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders also warned about the dire consequences of forcing the private sector to become involved.

“It would be too dangerous to do that. Not only now for Greece and then maybe later for Portugal and Ireland. Otherwise it would not be possible, after such a decision, to turn to the private sector again for financing,” he said.

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, said he called the emergency session to examine various options and prepare for a regular meeting of eurozone finance ministers next Monday.

But the obvious differences indicate it would be very hard for eurozone finance ministers to hammer out an agreement on new aid for Greece at their next meeting in Luxembourg.

In order to calm the nervous markets, a deal must be made ahead of a summit of European Union (EU) leaders on Thursday and Friday next week.

Greece was given 110 billion euros (159 billion U.S. dollars) in financial support by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid debt default in May last year, but it was speculated that Athens would still have to restructure its debts due to a weak economy and unsatisfactory progress in cutting fiscal deficits.

The new rescue for Greece was estimated at 120 billion euros (173 billion dollars), with 60 billion euros (87 billion dollars) coming from the EU and the IMF, and the other half from private sector contributions and privatization receipts.

The emergency meeting was held one day after Greece was given the world’s lowest credit rating by Standard & Poor’s, highlighting the urgency of the situation.

The Standard &Poor’s said “there is a significantly higher likelihood of one or more defaults” for Greece, warning any attempt to restructure the country’s debts would be considered a default.

The Greek Finance Ministry said in a statement that the downgrading ignored the efforts made by both Athens and Brussels.

“The decision by Standard and Poor’s also neglects the determined efforts of the Greek government to avoid at any costs any possible violation of Greece’s contractual obligations, and the strong desire of the Greek people to plan for their future within the eurozone,” the statement said.

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