Greece sees no need for new debt 'haircut': Samaras

6th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

Greece is unlikely to need a new write-down of its debt, the country's prime minister Antonis Samaras said in a German newspaper interview on Thursday.

Asked by the mass-circulation daily Bild whether Greece would require a further debt "haircut" -- whereby creditors agree to write down a part of their debt holdings -- Samaras insisted that his country's debt was now on a more sustainable footing.

"Our debt is now officially seen as sustainable. But of course that requires sustained growth," Samaras said.

"We're trying to move out of recession and reform our economy so that enough revenues can be generated to cover the interest payments and debt repayments," he said.

On Wednesday, Standard & Poor's cut Greece's already junk-level debt rating to "selective default" after the country launched an operation to buy back debt at a big discount.

Greece had achieved more in the past two months than it had previously tried to in the last three decades, Samaras said.

The country's biggest structural problem at the moment was tax evasion, he said.

"We're tackling this comprehensively and are already seeing big breakthroughs," he said.

"We're doing everything to emerge quickly and safely from the crisis. No one is more interested in leaving all this behind them than the Greeks themselves," the prime minister said.

© 2012 AFP

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