Greece needs fur­ther eas­ing of loan terms

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance -

The gov­ern­ment is hold­ing out for a fur­ther eas­ing of con­di­tions for the re­pay­ment of its 110-bil­lion-euro in­ter­na­tional loan, ac­cord­ing to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou, who again ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of a Greek debt re­struc­tur­ing through a “hair­cut.”

Speak­ing to French daily news­pa­per Lib­er­a­tion, Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou be­came the first Greek of­fi­cial to ad­mit the coun­try may re­quire a new ex­ten­sion of the re­pay­ment pe­riod.

“It would be bet­ter if we fur­ther length­ened the re­pay­ment sched­ule of the 110 bil­lion eu­ros that our part­ners have lent us and if we fur­ther low­ered in­ter­est rates. That way we could meet our re­pay­ments,” he stated.

Asked by jour­nal­ists in Athens what he meant in that state­ment, Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou said, “There is noth­ing new,” adding that he “merely ex­pressed the hope that we have an even bet­ter ar­range­ment of the debt of 110 bil­lion eu­ros” in the fu­ture.

He also re­fused to give de­tails as to how much of an ex­ten­sion Greece would re­quire, but sug­gested that the coun­try’s abil­ity to serve its debt de­pends on cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing pri­mary sur­pluses, high growth and the cost of debt man­age­ment. He went on to stress that “there can be no debt re­struc­tur­ing, no hair­cut.”

This came on the day that Euro­pean Union Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Olli Rehn sug­gested that Greek debt re­struc­tur­ing is not on the ta­ble as “it is not part of our strat­egy and it will not be.” Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker added yes­ter­day that a Greek debt re­struc­tur­ing is not an op­tion.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund are sched­uled to ar­rive in Athens to­day to con­tinue their mon­i­tor­ing of the Greek fis­cal stream­lin­ing, in or­der to eval­u­ate whether the coun­try has made ad­e­quate progress to re­ceive its fifth tranche of fi­nan­cial aid, es­ti­mated at 12 bil­lion eu­ros.

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