Belgium cites 'room for maneouvre' on Greek bailout
(BRUSSELS) - Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told national media on Sunday that there is "room for manoeuvre" on the time Greece needs to deliver on bailout commitments.
After pro-bailout conservatives narrowly beat anti-austerity radical leftists in Sunday's Greek election, and German counterpart Guido Westerwelle spoke of a possible "delay" in meeting EU-IMF objectives, Reynders said Europe was ready to discuss pushing back deadlines.
There is "a margin of possible dialogue on timings for implementation," the national news agency Belga reported him as saying, although the former Belgian finance minister insisted there would be no "blank cheque" on offer.
The job, spending and wage cuts required under the 130 billion euro ($165 billion) bailout in a country suffering its fifth year of recession were a key issue in the Sunday's Greek parliamentary election, with all parties calling for a relaxation of the terms if not outright cancellation of the deal.
Reynders said Europe could "reflect on a target of 10 or 15 years" for the bailout deal's demands to be met.
He also said that EU moves to invest for growth currently being negotiated ahead of a June 28-29 summit could be focused on Athens, and that the European Union could extend deadlines for Athens to bring public deficit and debts within legal EU ceilings.
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