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Spain, Portugal demand Greek ‘guarantees’ on debt deal

Published on 22/06/2015

Spain and Portugal warned Greece Monday it must give firm "guarantees" to seal a debt deal with European leaders, as Athens made a fresh bid to unlock bailout funds need to avoid a default.

Portugal — which like Greece was bailed out by international lenders in 2011 — and Spain, which got a bailout for its banks in 2012, kept up their hard line on Greece ahead of an emergency eurozone summit.

“We hope it will be possible to find a solution that works for Greece and the whole of the eurozone,” said Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

He said the eurozone had already restructured Greece’s debt and extended interest payment deadlines.

“It is important that there be no more extensions without clear guarantees” by Athens, said Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

“There is an openness that could lead to a new understanding,” but Greece “will have to respect all the rules applying to governments in the EU”, he added.

They spoke at a news conference after a bilateral summit in Baiona, northwestern Spain.

Portugal got a 78 billion-euro ($89-billion) international bailout in 2011 and Spain got 41 billion euros for its banks in 2012.

Along with other eurozone countries, they are demanding Athens push through further reforms in order to unlock the 7.2 billion euros still remaining in Greece’s international bailout, which expires on June 30.

European officials were to examine fresh last-minute proposals presented by Greece on Monday in Brussels.

The eurozone crisis in 2012 raised fears that financial instability in Greece would spread to Spain and Italy.

The Spanish and Portuguese leaders said they had no such concerns currently.

“I am not afraid of any contagion,” Rajoy said.