NEWS

Greece does not need third bailout, Samaras tells Bild

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has ruled out a third bailout program for Greece despite reports in Germany suggesting that Finance Ministry there is working on such a plan.

"We do not need a new, third aid program,» Samaras told Bild newspaper in an interview published over the weekend. «We are reaching the goals of our current program and it is showing results."

A five-page position paper by Germany's Finance Ministry estimates that a third package would be worth between 10 to 20 billion, according to the German weekly Der Spiegel.

"What is sure is that any further aid would be much less expansive than whatever help so far," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Wirtschaftswoche magazine recently.

Samaras insisted that he had received no notification from Schaeuble regarding a new financial package.

The Greek prime minister also dismissed claims that Greece is lagging in structural reforms, saying that the country carried out 76 percent of its "prior actions" last year.

Samaras dismissed the idea of one-off wealth tax, as suggested by the Bundesbank, and insisted that wealthy Greeks, including shipowners, are being taxed properly.

The premier also rejected a European Central Bank study from last year, which Bild quoted on its front page last week, suggesting that Greeks were wealthier than Germans when property ownership is taken into account.

"Greeks are definitely not on average richer than the Germans because the numbers and property prices mentioned in the research are no longer correct," he said.

"Property prices have fallen greatly during the crisis."

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