Financial News: FinMin: Debt restructure 'out of the question'

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 George Papaconstantinou, 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.

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