Spain confident of Greek debt deal, urges Athens to make effort

Luis de Guindos

Luis de Guindos

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Tuesday he expects Athens will reach an agreement with its bailout creditors and urged the Greek government to make an effort.

“I hope, trust, and this is the position of the Spanish government, that we will reach a deal with Greece,” he told reporters in the northern city of Santander.

“I think we should all make an effort, I believe that institutions have already made en effort, the remaining nations, the eurozone beyond Greece, we have made and are willing to (make an effort), but of course the Greek government must also do it.”

Greece’s EU-IMF bailout expires on June 30, and it had been hoped that a deal could be reached by Thursday when the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers, who control the purse strings of the rescue programme, meet in Luxembourg.

Also at the end of the month, Greece faces a 1.6 billion euro payment to the International Monetary Fund, with another 6.7 billion euros due to the European Central Bank in July and August, which Greek officials have said the government cannot afford.

But talks collapsed at the weekend and since then both sides in the long-running Greek crisis have been locked in a stalemate, blaming each other for the impasse.

The European Union insists the EU-IMF creditors have made “major concessions” but that the anti-austerity government in Athens continues to reject what it views as “irrational” demands.

European leaders are considering holding an emergency summit on Greece this weekend but any decision will depend on the outcome of the finance ministers’ meeting on Thursday, sources said.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo warned on Monday that Greece runs a “real risk” of crashing out of the eurozone after the crucial debt talks with its creditors broke down.

No Comments yet