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Decision on Greek bailout hardly probable on Tuesday — Slovak finance minister

July 07, 2015, 15:20 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
"A decision can be made only at the highest level. I’m skeptical about the possibility of taking a decision today," Peter Kazimir said
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Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (center)

Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (center)

© EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

BRUSSELS, July 7. /TASS/. A decision on Greek bailout is hardly probable today, Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said on Tuesday after arriving at an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on Greece.

"A decision can be made only at the highest level. I’m skeptical about the possibility of taking a decision today," he said.

"However, a long discussion is very harmful for Greece. We need to decide within days and weeks," he added.

"We’re disappointed by the results of the [Greek] referendum but we should respect them. However, the referendum results have not changed Greece’s economic reality," the Slovak finance minister said.

Greeks went to the polling stations on Sunday to decide whether the Greek government should accept or reject a draft agreement on a new austerity package for debt-laden Greece worked out by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Most of the Greeks (61%) voted against the creditor terms.

Since 2010, when Greece’s sovereign debt crisis broke out, Athens has received 240 billion euros in bailout loans from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Despite a partial debt write-off in 2012, Greece’s sovereign debt currently exceeds 315 billion euros or 175% of its GDP. This figure is almost three times the debt-to-GDP ratio set for the eurozone countries, which should not exceed 60% of GDO according to the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact.

Greece’s international creditors say the Hellenic Republic can receive further financial aid, if the government undertakes to implement further austerity measures in the country.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday the latest report prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Greek debt sustainability acknowledged the need for a debt haircut.

The IMF said in its report on Thursday that further slowing of structural reforms in Greece and a further fall in its primary budget surplus would make it impossible for the country to service its external debt and would require a debt haircut and an additional 50 billion euros in the next three years to pay its arrears.

The Greek premier said the IMF’s document justified Athens’ position. "The creditors never before presented this IMF’s opinion to the Greek government," Tsipras said.

This opinion justifies the Greek government’s position as it proves that the debt is not unviable and the only way to make it sustainable "is to do a 30% haircut and provide a 20-year grace period before any repayments," Tsipras said.

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