Greece presses banks to help in debt crisis



ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s finance minister says the government has been encouraging Greek banks to participate in a solution to the country’s debt crisis.

Evangelos Venizelos said he was still in discussions Thursday with officials from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, over 5.5 billion worth of savings that are part of the 28 billion austerity program, which has to be passed by Parliament if the country is to get crucial bailout funds.

Venizelos said Greek banks were being encouraged to participate in a solution along the lines of the “Vienna initiative” according to which investors are asked to voluntarily renew their debt holdings as they expire.

The austerity bill and an additional implementation bill will be completed by Thursday.