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Friday, September 19, 2014

Hardouvelis: Greece Will Take Emergency Loans to Exit Bailout

Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis talked to Bloomberg TV’s Guy Johnson on Friday and stated that Greece is likely to resort to emergency loans in 2015 and 2016 in order to exit from the terms of its bailout. “The IMF doesn’t want to lend alone; the Europeans feel itchy about the IMF lending and them staying out,” Hardouvelis told Bloomberg. “All possibilities are up for grabs,” he added. Although Greece’s bailout program expires this year, the IMF is expected to continue disbursing funds until the first quarter of 2016. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is agitating to end the 240-billion-euro bailout, which came with austerity measures that fueled a political backlash and a recession that damaged the economy. In his interview, Hardouvelis eliminated a writedown on the Greek debt‘s nominal value. “About 70% of the Greek debt is held either by the ECB or the other countries, so you can’t write it down,” he stated. “You can extend the maturities, you can fix part of the variable rate of debt, but writing it down, that would have to go through various parliaments,” he added, claiming that no country would accept it. Commenting on the possibility of early elections, Hardouvelis noted that there is no such case, as the Greek citizens don’t want snap elections. “Investors think long term and they see no downside risk to Greece. The presidential elections are a minor nuisance,” the Greek Minister told Bloomberg.