Don't worry too much about debt, Bundesbank tells Greece

17th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

Greece should worry less about getting debt relief than tackling economic reforms, Bundesbank governor Jens Weidmann said in remarks published on Thursday.

"Further debt relief does not seem to be a matter of particularly urgent concern," the German central bank's chief told the business paper Naftemporiki.

He said bail-out deals with creditors had substantially reduced Greece's current and future financing needs, noting that Greek interest payments relative to its gross domestic product were lower in 2014 than those of Spain, Portugal and Italy.

"The headline debt burden is certainly substantial, but so are the concessions the official creditors have already made with regard to repayment conditions," he said.

Efforts should be concentrated on making sure that the Greek adjustment programme is "fully implemented", he added.

Greek debt currently stands at 175 percent of GDP, far above the eurozone's official 60 percent ceiling.

The government of Alexis Tsipras has been lobbying creditors about debt reduction, but its EU partners want to see economic reforms first.

The International Monetary Fund, however, has argued that Greece needs debt relief to engineer an economic recovery.

© 2015 AFP

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