Angela Merkel rejects debt relief for Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out any cancellation of Greece’s debt and said the country has already received substantial cuts from banks and creditors.

“There has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece’s debt,” Merkel said in an interview with the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.

“I do not envisage fresh debt cancellation,” she said.

The new Greek government has already begun to roll back years of austerity measures demanded by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in return for a 240 billion euro ($269 billion) bailout granted to avoid a financial meltdown in 2010, and says it will negotiate to halve the debt.

At the start of 2012, Greece restructured its debt in a deal involving private creditors who took “haircuts” or wrote down parts of their holdings. This cut Greece’s total debt burden by around 100 billion euros.

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