ECONOMY

Latvia’s Reirs sees good chance of bailout implementation after Greek elections

latvia-amp-8217-s-reirs-sees-good-chance-of-bailout-implementation-after-greek-elections

Greece’s snap election will probably strengthen the hand of political forces who’ll push through measures needed to maintain the flow of bailout money and keep the nation solvent, Latvian Finance Minister Janis Reirs said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads into Sunday’s election amid a dip in popularity for his Syriza party and facing a close race with New Democracy, which he unseated in January. Neither party is projected to win a majority.

“If one or the other win the elections, that’s a guarantee that the reforms will continue.” Reirs said Friday in an interview in the Latvian capital of Riga. “There is one question: has Tsipras been able to create a team that’s for reform? That’s the only unknown, if he wins. If the other side wins, it’s clear that they’ll carry the reforms further.”

Tsipras rode to power denouncing the austerity measures imposed by officials in Washington, Frankfurt and Brussels, before eventually capitulating with the nation running out of money and its banks shut for two weeks. The deal secured as much as 86 billion euros ($98 billion) of aid, and splintered Tsipras’s coalition.

“My evaluation of the Greek extraordinary election from the first moment was positive because it shows Tsipras, after all the bankruptcy and bank closing, has really chosen these reforms,” Reirs said.

The International Monetary Fund will review whether to contribute money to Greece later this year, when European authorities will also assess the nation’s progress in meeting its commitments. The euro area also plans to evaluate debt- relief options for Greece at that time.

“We’re fully ready to participate in talks about restructuring, increasing maturities, delaying interest payments,” Reirs said. “About write downs, our position is no.”

[Bloomberg]