France says Greece debt swap good news

PARIS - French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said on Friday that Greece's negotiated debt-swap deal was good news and avoided a default for the debt-laden country.
"It's good news, its a good success," Baroin told RTL radio. "It's something that allows us to stay on a voluntary basis that avoids the risk of default."
He said he also had confidence in the Spanish government's ability to resolve its large deficit pile.
Greece said on Friday that 85.8 percent of private creditors had accepted its bond swap offer and that the rate would reach 95.7 percent with the use of collective action clauses to enforce the deal.
In a statement following closure of the offer late on Thursday, the finance ministry said 172 billion euros in total had been tendered for the deal, which will force investors to take losses of as much as 74 percent on their holdings.
It said it had informed its international partners that it intends to enforce the collective action clauses on any holders of the outstanding 177 billion euros of bonds regulated under Greek law who had not accepted the offer.
The deadline for acceptance of the offer for bonds governed by international law and for state-guaranteed bonds issued by public companies has been extended to March 23.
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