Commission: Greek debt restructuring 'not an option'

The European Commission on Monday rejected speculation it was discussing any restructuring of the Greek debt.

“No discussions have been made on the restructuring of the Greek debt,” Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn, told reporters. He was answering questions over whether a possible restructuring of the Greek debt was discussed between the EU Commissioner, the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, and the finance ministers of France and Germany, during a teleconference held in April 2.

“A Greek debt restructuring is not an option,” he said, adding that for Greece there is an economic plan, one approved by the EU, which is currently being implemented. He stressed that Rehn underlined the issue during a press conference in Hungary after an informal Ecofin meeting there.

Altafaj again stressed that Olli Rehn is opposed to a restructuring of the Greek debt.

“Commissioner Rehn is not participating in several discussions and in different frameworks for Greece,” he said, adding that “There was no discussion over a restructuring of the Greek debt”.

Meanwhile, Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in comments to Bloomberg TV, said Greece might need more time to repay its bond holders and that this could happen with an extension of the repayment period, which will not be considered as default. “The adjustment programme ... is very painful and if an extension of repayment periods is something necessary for these policies to be effective, then this should be done,” Gurria said.


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