Dijsselbloem Says He’s Confident About Greek Deal Amid Debt Talk

Dijsselbloem: Gave Sec. Lew Positive Message on Greece
  • Eurogroup head says Greek government ‘constructive,’ committed
  • Dijsselbloem reiterates Eurogroup aims for deal next week

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he is confident a deal on the Greek aid program can be reached as soon as next week as debt relief talks continue.

Dijsselbloem said the Greek government is “fully committed’’ to implementing the measures in the program and has taken a “very constructive” approach in talks, which in turn should lead to a successful negotiation. The head of the euro-area finance ministers said the goal is to reach an agreement at the next meeting scheduled May 24.

“We’re in a completely different situation than we were a year ago,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview Friday with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua from the Group of Seven meeting in Sendai, Japan. “On the basis of that confidence, we’re now entering into a discussion about debt relief.”

Dijsselbloem stressed the euro area had already provided aid to Greece at a “very low interest rate.” The Eurogroup is now looking at different instruments to service Greece’s debt, some of which could be implemented over the short-term or at the end of the program, he said.

“There are other levers that you can use, like maturity periods, grace periods, swaps of more expensive loans for cheaper loans.” he said. “All of these instruments, we’re considering.” He said some measures can be taken “up front” and some will be for a later date.

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