Greece: Finance Ministry Denies Default Rumors


The Greece Finance Ministry on Saturday denied rumors that the country would soon default on its debt.

A new wave of default rumors was triggered by the sudden cancellation of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s visit to U.S. The news came a day after eurozone ministers postponed a decision on another bailout tranche of 8 billion euro ($11 billion), saying the decision will be made in October.

“Comments and analysis concerning a default in the near future are not just irresponsible, they are also ludicrous,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Greece Evangelos Venizelos said.

The Greek premier, who was expected to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York and meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, suddenly cancelled the visit while making a transit in London.

Dow Jones quoted a statement by Venizelos as saying that the cancellation of the visit “is not due to the fact that there is an economic risk or an unexpected financial development, but due to the fact that it is now the time to take all necessary political, legislative, organizational and administrative initiatives.”

The Greek finance minister is to hold a conference call with leaders of the country’s top three lenders: the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank.

The cancellation coincided with the announcement by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble said that the Greek government “is aware that it fails to reach the intended targets” in its budget austerity program.

The 2011 shows a hike in Greek budget spending and a rapid decline in budget incomes, making it impossible to bring the budget deficit to the target 7.5% of GDP.

Without another tranche of bailout support, Greece will default on its debt in mid-October.

Uncertain economic situation in the country prompted opposition leaders to call for early elections.

“The only way out from today’s dead end are elections, enabling people to express their will,” opposition leader Antonis Samaras said on Saturday at an international exhibition in Thessaloniki.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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