Lagarde and Merkel rule out any Greek debt write-off


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde have in recent days sent clear messages to Athens that the adjustment of the Greek debt could only concern an extension to the payment time, rather than a write-off or interest rate cut.

Merkel also set a new standard to determine the sustainability of the Greek debt, casting aside the hitherto informal yardstick of 120 percent of gross domestic product.

The German leader said that the new criterion ought to be that the annual spending on serving the country’s debt should not exceed 15 percent of its GDP.