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Greece to table request for debt relief at May 5 Eurogroup, says Stournaras

Greece will put the issue of further debt relief on the agenda at the May 5 Eurogroup, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told businessmen in Athens on Monday.

“Eurostat’s announcement [last week on Greece’s primary surplus] has opened the path on a discussion about debt relief based on what had been agreed with our partners,” he told the 3rd Hellenic - Chinese Business Partnering Conference.

“Greece will table this issue at the next Eurogroup, on May, so the discussion can begin,” added Stournaras.

Last Thursday - a day after the European Commission confirmed that Greece’s surplus for 2013, as calculated using the troika’s methodology, stood at 1.5 billion euros - the country’s representative at the Euro Working Group made a request for more debt-lightening measures.

Panos Tsakloglou, chairman of Greece’s Council of Economic Experts, reminded his counterparts of the Eurogroup’s November 2012 pledge to examine debt relief steps once Greece produced a primary surplus.

Stournaras also told the audience in Athens on Monday that Greece has achieved more than three quarters of the fiscal adjustment it needs to make its debt sustainable.

“We estimate that more than 85 percent of the improvement in the general government primary balance, in order to reduce our debt to sustainable levels by 2020, has already been achieved,” he told the 3rd 'Hellenic - Chinese Business Partnering Conference.

“This means that the hardest part is behind us but we still have some ground to cover. We have almost reached the top of the mountain, though.”

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 28, 2014 (14:53)  
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