Greece is unlikely to return to the international capital markets before next year and will use funds from its international 110 billion euros ($143 billion) emergency rescue package to finance its debt in the meantime, its finance minister said.
George Papaconstantinou told the Financial Times: “The whole idea of the program is to shield you, but [also] help you return to markets as soon as possible, so we’re hoping that next year we’ll be doing that.”
“It’s unlikely this year,” he said, adding that “the amount available to us is such that we don’t have to go back to the markets until the first quarter of 2012”.
He spoke as thousands of striking public sector workers protested outside parliament, where deputies were debating an austerity ?program? agreed in return for the bail-out by eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund.
According to IMF officials, Greece needs to spend about 150 billion over the next three years to refinance debt, make repayments and cover interest costs.
Sustained pressure from financial markets has forced Greece to become the first member of the eurozone to seek this help from the IMF to avert a sovereign default.