Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Greece must pay

Published:Sunday | February 1, 2015 | 12:01 AM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out cancelling any of Greece's debt, saying banks and creditors have already made substantial cuts.

But, Merkel has reportedly said she still wants Greece to stay in the Eurozone.

Greece's left-wing Syriza party won last weekend's election with a pledge to have half the debt written off.

Its new finance minister has refused to work with the 'troika' of global institutions overseeing Greek debt.

The troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund - had agreed a €240-billion (US$270b) bailout with the previous Greek government.

But Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has already begun to roll back the austerity measures the creditors had demanded as part of the deal.

Merkel told the Hamburger Abendblatt: "I do not envisage fresh debt cancellation."

She said: "There has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece's debt."

Greece still has a debt of €315 - about 175 per cent of its gross domestic product - despite some creditors writing down debts in a renegotiation in 2012.