ECONOMY

FinMin rejects selective default scenario

Greece never accepted the option of a selective default, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos stated late on Monday, speaking on Skai Television’s New Files program.

The country, he said, continues to be in a difficult position, though it is not on the point of bankruptcy, adding that the «the switch has turned on the track, and we are headed in the direction of easing the public debt burden.”

Venizelos also said that he was «guardedly optimistic» about the progress of a meeting of eurozone leaders in Brussels on Thursday, suggesting that he believes a solution can be found for a second Greek bailout that will satisfy the demands of both the European Union member states and the European Central Bank (ECB).

“A scheme can be found that will satisfy everyone — the member states, including Germany, and the ECB. The schemes that have been explored are countless,» Venizelos said.

The finance minister reiterated Athens?s terms for the release of the sixth tranche of bailout funds by the ECB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU by September 15, as well as for assurances in regards to banks? liquidity.

A second aid package for Greece could involve greater participation of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) schemes, he said.

“We want a good and honest relationship with Jean-Claude Trichet,» Venizelos said in regard to the ECB chief, who is in a standoff with Berlin over the contribution of the private sector to a second Greek bailout, adding that the ECB wants to find a clear solution to Greece debt problems and not to experiment with formulas that may destabilize the eurozone further.

Any sign of hesitation or confusion from the leader of eurozone must be avoided, Venizelos stressed, in reference to a meeting last week of European finance ministers that ended in a deadlock, sending the euro south and bonds plunging.