Greece calls for debt relief deal in June, says lenders have no excuses

Greece’s creditors need to reach a deal on debt relief measures at the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers in June to help the country return to bond markets, its finance minister said on Monday.

Euro zone finance ministers failed to agree with the International Monetary Fund last week on Greek debt relief as well as failing to release new loans to Athens. They did however come close enough to aim to do both at their June meeting.

“The Greek government feels it’s done its part of what it promised,” Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said, referring to parliamentary approval this month on a package of reforms to be implemented in 2019-20, when its existing bailout expires.

Greece adopted the package to try to coax the IMF into participating in its 86-billion-euro ($96-billion) bailout and to qualify for debt relief. Germany sees IMF buy-in as vital.

“We feel that the ball is very much on the side of our creditors and the IMF, that there are no excuses for not getting this overall deal that the Greek economy so desperately needs in its efforts to access the markets,” he said.

“There is very little point in entering a program if the goal is not to leave the program and leaving the program should be not only the responsibility of the debtor country but the creditor countries as well,” he told reporters.

Greece wants a deal in June which will allow it to be included in the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing program, a move which would boost investors confidence in the country before it returns to bond markets with a trial issue.

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