Still no haircut for Greece

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The head of the European Stability Mechanism has ruled out a haircut for Greece. But, as Sara Hemranjani reports, the issue of debt relief is still open to negotiation.

Still no haircut for Greece

A milestone for Alexis Tsipras.

This week marks one year since the Greek Prime Minister led his Syriza Party to victory.

Amid the celebration, Tsipras admitted battles still lay ahead.

One point of contention – the size of Greece’s debt burden.

Despite calls for a write-down, the euro zone’s rescue fund – the European Stability Mechanism – says a haircut is out of the question.

And Brussels is determined to see Athens follow through on promises made to its international creditors.

SOUNDBITE: Klaus Regling, Head of European Stability Mechanism, saying (English):

“It is also the agreement that there will be no haircut…There’s a commitment from the European countries, from the euro area countries, to provide more debt relief to Greece if needed and if they continue to implement the reform programme.”

European and IMF mission chiefs are due in Greece in a few days to start a review of the third bailout programme.

The meeting comes as Christine Lagarde pushes euro zone officials to accept Greece’s demands for debt relief.

But rising tensions indicate the end isn’t in sight yet.

Rabobank’s Jane Foley.

SOUNDBITE: Jane Foley, Senior Currency Strategist at Rabobank, saying (English):

“Clearly it’s going to be a very long road for Greece, and I still think we’re going to be talking about the need for Greek reforms and potential support really for years to come.”

The arguments won’t be restricted to closed door meetings.

Greek demonstrators have promised to step up their protests over planned pension cuts of 1.8 billion euros.

Tags : greece, Haircut, still

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