Greek PM dismisses scenarios of debt restructuring
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou dismissed once again Tuesday scenarios of a Greek debt restructuring.
The costs for doing so far outweigh any potential benefits, said Papandreou during his speech at a forum organized by Economist on the aftermath of the global economic crisis.
"So we stick to doing what we need to do anyway: create a primary surplus, get the economy growing again through structure reforms, use our assets to reduce our debt. All other discussions are a distraction and we refuse to be drawn into them," stressed the Greek premier.
At the end of a EU Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels earlier on Tuesday, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn talked about a "voluntary" extension of the repayment period for the Greek debt if Greece steps up efforts to fix its finances.
Rehn added pressure to Athens to push faster the necessary structural reforms, such as privatizations, "through broad political consensus" to secure the next tranches of the EU- International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid package agreed last May and possibly more support.
In a first reply, Papandreou requested once again "a new nation-wide understanding within Greece" with a clear commitment to the mid-term fiscal strategy program for the period 2012-2015 promoted by his government this May to lead Greece out of the crisis back to growth.
Greece was saved from bankruptcy last spring with the support of EU-IMF in exchange for bold austerity and reform policies, aiming to overcome an acute debt crisis over a three-year period, but has not fully met targets, fueling talks that it needs more time and support.
[Source: Xinhua, Athens, 17May11]
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