German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday evening doused hopes for strong measures to ease Greece’s debt, although earlier his Greek counterpart Euclid Tsakalotos and European Stability Mechanism chief Klaus Regling had met to discuss measures to reduce the country’s arrears.
Schaeuble stated that Greece is not facing problems with the interest rate it pays or the debt repayment it has to service. In essence he reiterated his view that no strong measures are needed to lighten the Greek debt as it can be serviced under today’s conditions.
He also referred to the role of the International Monetary Fund, saying it should remain active in Greece, but without clarifying if that would mean the issue of a new loan – entailing a new program – or just the IMF’s participation in talks as a technical adviser.
Earlier, Tsakalotos and Regling met in Luxembourg to discuss technical preparations for measures to make Greece’s debt sustainable. Regling told Tsakalotos about the ESM’s ideas on short-term measures that its technical experts are examining. Tsakalotos told reporters the measures must be agreed by end-2016 for the IMF to use them in its debt sustainability analysis.