Sunday 26 February 2017

Greece crisis: Taoiseach rules out debt write down for embattled Mediterranean country

* Rules out debt relief for Greece
* Suggests 'debt re-profiling'
* Greece votes 'no' in crucial referendum

Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

In this photo take on Sunday, July 5, 2015 Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis makes statements at the Finance Ministry after the results of referendum in Athens. Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis announced on Monday, July 6, 2015 his resignation after 'no' vote against bailout. (AP Photo/Angelos Christofilopoulos)
In this photo take on Sunday, July 5, 2015 Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis makes statements at the Finance Ministry after the results of referendum in Athens. Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis announced on Monday, July 6, 2015 his resignation after 'no' vote against bailout. (AP Photo/Angelos Christofilopoulos)
Anti-austerity ‘No’ voters celebrate the results of the first exit polls in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens last night
No voters kiss as they celebrate the results of the first exit polls in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens last night
No voters embrace as they celebrate the results of the first exit polls in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens last night
A woman poses with her daughter as she prepares to cast her vote in Athens yesterday
A ballot box is emptied by a voting official at the closing of polling stations in Athens yesterday
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras casts his ballot at a polling station in Athens yesterday
Mr Tsipras’s wife Betty Baziana gets out of a car at the prime minister’s office
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives at a polling station with his father Giorgos.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again ruled out a debt write-down for Greece but has backed debt restructuring for the embattled Mediterranean country.

The move would see some of the country’s debt parked for a number of years until a time it was in position to repay the debt.

Earlier today, Junior Minister Dara Murphy suggested the Government would back “debt relief” for Greece.

“We have always had the view that debt relief, debt re-profiling would have to be part of an agreement once there was reforms and once Greece could come up with a programme of reforms that would actually allow their economy to recover,” Mr Murphy told RTE Radio One.

Mr Kenny previously ruled out any debt write down for Greece.

Today, he suggested “debt re-profiling” would be an option examined by EU leaders when they meet in Brussels tomorrow.

A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A supporter of the No vote waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Supporters of the No vote chant slogans after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
A riot police detains a youth during minor clashes in central Athens, Greece early July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
"No" supporters shout slogans and wave Greek national flags during celebrations following a referendum in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
"No" supporters shout slogans during celebrations after a referendum in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
"No" supporters wave Greek national flags during celebrations in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
"No" supporters shout slogans during celebrations following a referendum in front of the parliament in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
"No" supporters shout slogans and wave Greek national flags during celebrations after a referendum in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
Masked youth walk along a street during minor clashes in central Athens, Greece late July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
"No" supporters shout slogans and wave Greek national flags during celebrations in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
Riot police detain masked youth during minor clashes in central Athens, Greece early July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
"No" supporters wave Greek national flags on the main Constitution (Syntagma) square in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A "No" supporter waves an "Estelada" (Catalonian separatist flag) in Thessaloniki, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
Supporters of the ruling Syriza party celebrate their victory in a referendum by the parliament in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A supporter of the No vote shouts slogans after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
"No" supporters wave Greek flags by the parliament in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A "No" supporter waves a Greek flag by the parliament in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015.REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A supporter of the No vote shouts slogans after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
A "No" supporter waves a Greek flag by the parliament in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

He said the previous talks, which collapsed ahead of the Greek referendum, also included the possibility of debt restructuring.

“There wasn’t any talk of write downs but there was talk of debt re-profiling and that happened in our own case with promissory note,” the Taoiseach said.

He added: “I think the President of the Eurogroup (Jeroen Dijsselbloem) made it perfectly clear that re-profiling was something that could be looked at if the negotiations had been completed successfully toward the end of the second programme which have now ended.”

Junior Finance Minister Simon Harris said the Government was supportive of restructuring the Greek loans because Ireland previously benefited from a similar arrangement.

A woman leaves a polling booth to cast her ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A woman leaves a polling booth to cast her ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Maps of Greece hang on the wall next to a voting booth in a polling station at a school's classroom in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
The moon sets behind a Greek flag over an elementary school used as polling station in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
An elderly voter waits outside a polling station at an elementary school in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A voter enters a polling station at a school's classroom in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A voting official prepares documents before opening the the polling station during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
People prepare to cast ballots during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A man casts his ballot during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A man prepares to cast his ballot during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015.REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A voter enters a polling station at a school's classroom in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. Greece voted on Sunday on whether to accept more austerity in exchange for international aid, in a high-stakes referendum likely to determine whether it leaves the euro-currency area after seven years of economic pain. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
Ballot papers are seen on a table as a man leaves a polling booth before casting his ballot during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A child casts her grandmother's ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A woman enters a voting station before casting her ballot during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
Voting officials are seen inside a polling station during a referendum in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Athenians are seen inside polling booths at a school in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A man enters a polling station to cast his ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A Greek Orthodox priest exits a booth holding a ballot at a polling station in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A Greek Orthodox priest exits a booth holding a ballot at a polling station in Athens, Greece July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A man raises his arms as he leaves a polling booth before casting his ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier
A man leaves a polling booth to cast his ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A woman casts her ballot during a referendum vote in Athens, Greece, July 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

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