Since outright debt forgiveness is politically impossible, the next best solution would be for Greece to pay off its expensive IMF loans early, redeem bonds held by the European Central Bank and extend the maturity of loans from euro zone governments to secure lower interest rates for years to come.


But if the economics make sense for Greece, the politics no longer add up for its partners.

A euro zone official said there had been exploratory talks with the previous conservative-led Greek government about such a plan last year, before then Prime Minister Antonis Samaras chose to bring forward an election he lost rather than complete a bitterly unpopular bailout program.

"Now it's a political non-starter," said a euro zone official. "There's just no appetite in the euro zone for a grand bargain to take over Greece's debt to the IMF and the ECB."

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