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Greek finance minister says determined to make debt viable
February 2, 2015 / 10:51 PM / 3 years ago

Greek finance minister says determined to make debt viable

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece may use financial tools to pull itself out of debt “serfdom”, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a statement late on Monday but said it would not back down from seeking a reduction in its overall debt burden with foreign creditors.

The statement from Varoufakis, who met investors in London on Monday to explain the new Greek government’s ideas about replacing its international bailout with a new agreement on its debt, followed comments he said had been misinterpreted.

He said that if it were necessary to use “financial mechanical tools” Greece would do so.

“But the essence is the same. Greek debt will become viable and will open up prospects for real growth and the Greek people will finally be able to breathe,” he said.

The statement from Varoufakis did not specify what misinterpretations he was referring to. Earlier on Monday the Financial Times reported that he proposed a “menu of debt swaps” rather than a headline writeoff as a possible solution.

The comment was widely taken in Greek media as sign the government was no longer seeking a debt “haircut” and was backing down from its aim of reducing the debt burden.

“The government and the finance minister will not back down, irrespective of how grieved some people are by our determination,” the statement said.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; writing by James Mackenzie

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