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Papakonstantinou: Debt restructure "out of the question"

03. April 2011. | 09:20

Source: Emg.rs, ANA

Greece on Saturday ruled out a restructuring of the country's public debt, while the European Commission said it saw now reason for such a move, in response to a foreign press report earlier in the day that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pressing for a restructure, which was also denied by the IMF.

Greece on Saturday ruled out a restructuring of the country's public debt, while the European Commission said it saw now reason for such a move, in response to a foreign press report earlier in the day that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pressing for a restructure, which was also denied by the IMF.

Greek finance minister Yiorgos Papakonstantinou, in a statement to Reuters news agency in Cernobbio on the sidelines of a business conference, said "there is absolutely no chance of a restructuring of the Greek debt", adding that those who talk about a restructuring "fail to understand that the costs would much outweigh the benefits".

In Brussels, Commission spokesperson Jens Mesters said that "all support measures are in place, and there is no reason now to start thinking of this possibility of restructuring Greece's debt".

The comments came in reaction to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel earlier that IMF officials were urging a restructure of Greece's debt.

In Washington, the IMF denied the report and reiterated its support of the Greek government's position.

"As we have said consistently, the IMF supports the Greek government's position of no debt restructuring and its determination to fully service its debt obligations. Any reports claiming otherwise are wrong," an IMF spokeswoman told Reuters.

In a preview of an article that is due to appear on Monday, Der Spiegel, which did not cite any sources, said that the IMF was doubtful that the Greek bailout efforts will succeed and was pressing for a restructure of the Greek debt. It said that this position was maintained by high-level IMF representatives in contacts in recent days with officials of European governments.

According to Der Spiegel, the IMF believes a restructure is necessary in order to reduce Greece's fiscal burden.

Laos calls for debt restructure, early elections

Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) leader George Karatzaferis on Saturday called for restructuring of Greece's debt and immediate general elections, speaking during a visit to Larissa to attend a party youth organisation event.

"We cannot survive on our own as a nation. The government must decide as soon as possible to proceed to a restructure of the debt and to immediately call (early general) elections," he said during a press conference.

Karatzaferis warned that the country was daily sinking deeper, while the political parties were each following their own path.

Although the March 25 EU summit decisions gave Greece a small breather, he said, restructure of the country's debt is inevitable because Greece cannot pay off a 300 billion euros debt, and recommended that Greece should tell its lenders that it will give them ten billion euros annually over the next 30 years.

Turning to foreign policy, Karatzaferis charged that Turkey was "doing as it pleases" in the Aegean and that Greek prime minister George Papandreou was "at a loss and frightened", while also noting that Turkey is the 15th largest economic power in the world whereas Greece was 15th from the bottom.

On the Libya crisis, the Laos leader reiterated that "Arab blood must not be shed by Greek arms". (ANA)


Samaras: Pasok is the country's problem


Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras ruled out any prospect of co-governance with ruling Pasok or collaboration with the other parties of the so-called centre-right sphere, in an interview to appear in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper.

"They are not asking us for responsibility, they are asking for complicity. We will not give it to them," Samaras said.

He said that it was a matter of time before ND found itself again ahead of the ruling party and secured a clear mandate from a broad social majority, and also said he understands that "the people who are disappointed with Pasok are hesitant before taking the next step in ND's direction".

Samaras stressed that the Memorandum is an example to be avoided, and accused Pasok of being the country's problem.

"Pasok is a captive of its own lies and the impasses in which it has entrapped the economy," the main opposition leader said, and ruled out any room for collaboration.

As for former ND minister and leader of the newly-formed Democratic Alliance party Dora Bakoyannis and Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) leader George Karatzaferis, Samaras reminded that they had cooperated fully with the Pasok government's policy of implementing its impasses, and were thus jointly responsible, and stressed that the door to a pre-electoral or post-electoral collaboration "is closed".

On the exploitation of the state's real property, Samaras accused the government of, with its policy, proceeding to a sell-off, and not exploitation, of the state assets. He added that he would not enter into any dialogue on the economy because "they are not asking us for responsibility, they are asking for complicity, and we will not give it to them".

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