Greece’s new PM Alexis Tsipras has said he is confident that agreement can be reached with creditors over repayment of his country’s debts.
Alexis Tsipras said in a statement issued to Bloomberg news agency that he had never intended to act unilaterally.
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out debt cancellation, saying creditors had already made concessions.
Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza party won last weekend’s election with a pledge to have half the debt written off.
Its new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has refused to work with the “troika” of global institutions overseeing Greek debt, which had agreed a €240 billion ($270 billion) bailout with the previous Greek government.
The troika is made up of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Greece still has a debt of €315 billion – about 175% of gross domestic product – despite some creditors writing down debts in a renegotiation in 2012.
Alexis Tsipras said Greece would repay its debts to the ECB and IMF, and reach a deal with the eurozone nations that funded most of the bailout package.
“The deliberation with our European partners has just begun,” he said.
“Despite the fact that there are differences in perspective, I am absolutely confident that we will soon manage to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, both for Greece and for Europe as a whole.”
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chairman of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, said he welcomed Alexis Tsipras’ comments.
“It is now up to the Greek government to determine its position on how to move forward,” he said.
“Further decisions will be taken jointly in the Eurogroup in the coming weeks.”
In interviews in the German media published on Saturday, Angela Merkel said she still wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone but did not “envisage fresh debt cancellation”.
“There has already been voluntary debt forgiveness by private creditors, banks have already slashed billions from Greece’s debt,” she told Hamburger Abendblatt.
Greece’s current program of loans ends on February 28. A final bailout tranche of €7.2 billion still has to be negotiated but the new government has already begun to roll back austerity measures.
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