03 MAY 2011
By Leigh Phillips
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Greece has said it would prefer yet another extension to its EU-IMF loan repayment schedule over debt restructuring.
The country's finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, said in an interview with French left-wing daily Liberation on Monday (2 May): "It would be better for us to extend once again the timing of repayment of the €110 billion that we're borrowing from our partners and that we further reduce the interest rate."
Following the release of the article, he was pressed by reporters in Athens on the same subject and said that he hoped to "have a better settlement of terms."
Earlier this year, Athens won an extension to its bail-out payment period and a reduction in the interest rate it pays on the sum.
"There will be no restructuring or haircut," the minister continued.
Also on Monday, EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn repeated that restructuring of Greek debt is not on the cards.
"Proponents of debt restructuring seem to ignore the potentially devastating consequences for the country itself and the euro area as a whole," he told a conference in Brussels. "I repeat it is not part of our strategy."
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