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Berlin calls on Greece to restructure debt

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Berlin calls on Greece to restructure debt
Photo: DPA
09:09 CEST+02:00
The EU Commission, the IMF and Germany are calling for Greece to reschedule its massive debt burden, due to the deteriorating situation, the German press reported Saturday.

Citing unnamed sources, newspaper Die Welt reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union executive arm and the government in Berlin believe prolonging the repayment terms on some loans to Greece has become the least worst option to save the country from defaulting.

"When you look at the new data, you know the situation has changed," a European Commission source was quoted as saying.

However the European Central bank and France remain opposed to any such debt restructuring, the article added.

EU Commission spokesman on economic affairs Amadeu Altafaj, dismissed the report as "absurd information."

"A restructuring of Greek debt is out of the question," he told news agency AFP.

A German finance ministry spokesman simply restated Germany's position of recent days, that Berlin is awaiting the results of a mission to Greece by experts from the European Union, IMF and ECB, before reaching its conclusions on the way forward on the debt issue.

The team of rescue auditors launched their new probe in Greece Tuesday and will advise whether Greece merits a critical new slice of rescue funding.

Speculation has mounted in recent days that Greece will need an additional €60 billion ($85 billion) over the next two years as it won't be able to return to financial markets next year as expected to re-finance its massive debt.

Eurozone and EU finance ministers are expected to discuss Greece at meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

Athens received a €110-billion ($156-billion) bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund last year, but a severe recession has complicated its efforts to bring its finances in order.

AFP/bk

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