Rehn backs better loan terms for Greece and Ireland

European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has told a German newspaper that eurozone countries should agree to improve the terms of the emergency loans that have been provided to Greece and Ireland.

Comments to be published in Monday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily but reporter by Reuters on Saturday, Rehn acknowledged that it was necessary to ease the pressure on both countries.

“There is a danger we could overburden both countries with overly strict credit conditions … [The eurozone must] lower interest on loans for Greece and Ireland,» he said.

Rehn suggested that the timeframe of loan repayments for Greece should also be doubled to seven years from three-and-a-half years, he added.

Greece has been lobbying European Union leaders ahead of a March 24-25 summit in a bid to secure improved terms for the 110 billion euros it is borrowing from eurozone members and the International Monetary Fund.

Rehn also appealed to the German Parliament to soften its stance on increasing the lending capacity of the European Financial Stability Facility and giving it more flexibility in the measures it can adopt.

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