11 MAY 2011
By Jason Groves | Mail Online
Britain could face a £3.2billion bill to bail Greece out of its latest financial crisis, experts warned.
Reports from Athens today suggested the Greek government is about to seek a fresh EU bailout totalling £53billion to prevent financial collapse.
Chancellor George Osborne, who has said Britain would be a ‘reluctant participant’ in any new bailout, told MPs today there had not yet been a formal request for help from Greece.
Greece was granted a £100billion bailout last year, but is still drowning in debts thought to total more than £300billion.
The Open Europe think-tank warned last night that a £53billion bailout would cost British taxpayers at least £800million because of commitments through the International Monetary Fund.
But the bill could rise to £3.2billion – equal to £160 for every family – if the EU decides to invoke a deal signed by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling that makes Britain liable even though it is not a member of the eurozone.
The Dow Jones financial news agency today quoted a Greek official saying Athens was likely to ask for £53billion – the first firm figure put on the scale of a potential second bailout.
The official said government-owned properties could be used as collateral to secure the loan.
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