ATHENS: Greece will exit its EU-IMF bailout agreement as scheduled in 2014 and will require no further loans, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Monday.
“In 2014 we will make the big step to exit the loan agreement,” Samaras said in a nationally televised address.
“In 2014, Greece will venture out to the markets again (and) start becoming a normal country,” the Prime Minister said.
“In the new year, Greek debt will be officially declared viable, meaning there will be no need for new loans and new bailout agreements,” he said.
Greece was first bailed out by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank for 110 billion euros ($151 billion) in 2010. When that failed, veering Greece dangerously close to exiting the eurozone, the country got a second rescue in 2012 worth 130 billion euros plus a private sector debt write-off totalling more than 100 billion euros.
The second bailout is set to end in mid-2014, and there is strong belief that Greece’s weakened economy will require more EU-IMF assistance.
The creditors are worried the country can not afford to meet its 4.4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) loan repayments set for next year. The impending financial hole could rise to 10.9 billion euros by 2015.
Greece is experiencing a sixth year of recession and an unemployment rate of more than 27 percent. However, the government expects slim growth to set in 2014, alongside a small budget surplus not counting debt servicing costs.
Bailed out Ireland this month became the first eurozone nation to exit an EU-IMF rescue programme and head back to the markets for its government borrowing.
Ireland did so without maintaining some sort of credit line with the troika and despite widespread doubts, rescued Portugal said it hopes do the same when it exits its programme in May 2014.