Government Vice President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking to a local radio station on Friday, stressed that there is no question of disputing July 21 Summit decisions with various demands by Eurozone partners for guarantees to be provided by Greece.
Referring to a guarantee agreement with Finland, he said it is a bilateral agreement with the north European country, as a precondition for ratification of decisions of the Summit to participate in the new loan mechanism, and he justified it saying that "in the past the country was obliged to provide guarantees, for this reason such a thing is in their reasoning."
As regards demands by Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands for guarantees, he said the bilateral agreement between Greece and Finland is still being examined at a technical level and that the final decision depends on the approval of the Eurozone countries.
As per the process of exchanging bonds through a programme under way for the participation of the private sector, the minister assessed that it will be concluded in the second week of October.
He also appeared reassuring concerning the 6th tranche of a bailout package, clarifying that if until mid-September the funding of the country has not gone ahead by the European Fiscal Stability Mechanism this will take place through a special vehicle -- with money from the existing mechanism.
Commenting on the finance minister's statements, main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis charged that "Mr. Venizelos, who believed that he placed a 'bottom to the debt barrel' is confessing today his Waterloo.
"He is admitting that the recession, with a prediction in the medium-term listed at 3.5 percent, will exceed 4.5 percent, the result of the government's insistence on its mistaken policy.
"He is admitting indirectly that he will take new measures at a time when he is aware that neither the economy nor society can tolerate them. He is admitting that his amateurish handling of the agreement with Finland, on the issue of the guarantees, led the country's new borrowing to a deadlock," Mihelakis charged.