Finance Minister: No New 'Loan' Needed if Greek Debt Restructured

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Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Saturday that Greece could manage without a new "loan" if its debt was restructured, as the country waits to find out if it has secured critically-needed bailout funds.

Asked if the nation could do without one, Varoufakis told the Efimerida ton Sindakton daily in an interview: "Of course it can. One of the conditions for this to happen though, is an important restructuring of the debt."

Greece, which needs a deal to unblock 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) from its EU-IMF bailout before state coffers run dry, last week resumed talks with its international creditors.

In the interview published on Saturday, the maverick Greek Finance Minister also took a swipe at the eurozone warning that if it "doesn't change it will die", adding that "no country, not only Greece, should have joined such a shaky common monetary system."

Nevertheless, he said it was "one thing to say we shouldn't have joined the euro and it is another to say that we have to leave" because backtracking now would lead to "a unforeseen negative situation". 

Asked about reported insults from fellow Eurogroup finance ministers during a tense meeting in Riga on April 24, Varoufakis was also dismissive.

Media reports said he had been branded a "gambler", an "amateur" and an "adventurist" by his peers.

"Those would have surely been heavy offences if they had been expressed. But they were not," Varoufakis said.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' hard-left government, elected in January on an anti-austerity agenda, is struggling to pay salaries and pensions without the promised loans.

Greece needs to repay almost a billion euros in debt and interest to the IMF by May 12.

Unless an agreement is reached to unlock the remaining EU-IMF bailout money, the debt-ridden country faces default and a possible exit from the euro.

Technical experts from the Eurogroup and the Greek delegation are due to be in contact all weekend, trying to resolve differences concerning sweeping reforms required by Brussels and the IMF to secure the package.  

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