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Samaras Says He ‘Guarantees Personally’ to Repay Aid, SZ Reports

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said he “guarantees personally” that rescue funds for his country will be paid back, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing an interview.

“I can assure you, we will deliver,” Samaras told the German newspaper before his visit to Berlin for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel this week. He said a Greek exit from the euro would be “catastrophic” and would lead to social unrest that would affect Europe more broadly.

Samaras also signaled that his country needs more time to meet targets agreed with its bailout partners, telling Sueddeutsche that “some things might have to change” to support Greece’s reform efforts.

He said comments by other politicians on a Greek exit have disrupted efforts by his government to sell state holdings.

“Every time a German, Dutch or Austrian politician brings a euro exit into the debate, I think, ‘how should I privatize state operations? Which businesses will invest euros with us, when they might be paid back in drachma?’”

Samaras said his government will look at exceeding its current privatization plans, including the state rail system and state-held betting vendors, Sueddeutsche reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net

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