Economy

Greece to not end if April 24 talks fail: Greek minister

Eurozone's finance ministers are scheduled to meet on April 24 in Brussels to discuss the repayment of Greece's €316 billion debt

14.04.2015
Greece to not end if April 24 talks fail: Greek minister

ATHENS (AA) - Greece has alternative solutions if negotiations with international creditors fail, Greek energy minister said in Athens on Tuesday.

Panagiotis Lafazanis, Greece’s productive reconstruction, environment and energy minister, said that negotiations between Greek officials and international creditors were at a critical phase. He cautioned against guessing the outcome of the negotiations and added that a negative result would not be the end of the world.

"Our country has alternative solutions. If the deal with creditors cannot be reached then this will not be the end of Greece," the minister said. However, Lafazanis did not specify exactly what the alternative solutions would be.

Eurozone's finance ministers are scheduled to meet April 24 in Brussels to discuss the repayment of Greece's €316 billion debt.

He also described Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s recent visit to Moscow as a positive step towards obtaining cheap energy that would bring economic benefits to Greece and turn it into an international energy hub.

A cooperation agreement for the construction of Turkish Stream pipeline's Greek portion is expected to be signed in the next few days, the energy minister told the state-run Russian media, Sputnik, on Friday.

On Thursday, Greece made a €450m loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund, one day after it succeeded in auctioning off €1.138 billion euros ($1.24 billion) of six-month Treasury bills Wednesday in the first of two auctions expected in April, as it seeks to find funding to make payments of nearly €400m by the end of this month.

The Greek government must also find €1.7 billion ($1.82 billion) for public sector wages and pensions by the end of the month, but it is not clear it will be able to do so.

The newly-elected Greek government, led by the leftist Syriza party, is currently negotiating with its European creditors, of which Germany is the largest, and submitted a new list of economic reforms in an effort to obtain the next €7.2 billion ($7.9 billion) tranche of the bailout.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Thursday that Greece should have never joined the eurozone.

Varoufakis said that the Troika, which includes the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, pretended to face a "liquidity problem, while the country actually suffers an insolvency problem.”

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