Spain Ready to Talk About Third Greek Bailout

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said his government is ready to talk about a third Greek bailout.

Published: 06th July 2015 04:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2015 04:20 PM   |  A+A-

Greece Bailout

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives to meet Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos after the results of the referendum at the Presidential Palace in Athens. |AP

By AP

ATHENS, Greece: The latest on the bailout referendum in Greece (all times local):

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12:55 p.m.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said his government is ready to talk about a third Greek bailout.

De Guindos told a press conference in Madrid after the government's economic team met to discuss Greece's referendum result that everyone wants Greece to "stay in the euro."

However, he said "the rules for the euro remain the same as they were two days ago."

"I don't contemplate in any way Greece leaving the euro," he said.

The minister conceded the situation now was probably the most complex since the euro launched in 1999 but that the currency's irreversibility would be reaffirmed at the meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Tuesday.

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12:45 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says Germany sees no basis at present for entering negotiations on anew bailout program for Greece, but that the door remains open.

Steffen Seibert said Monday that Germany respects the "clear 'no' vote" by Greeks against austerity measures demanded by creditors and that "the door for talks always remains open."

However, he said the conditions are "not there at present to enter negotiations on a new program." He said the "no" vote is a vote against the principle — still supported by Germany — that solidarity requires countries to take responsibility.

Seibert says Europe will explore what possibilities there are to help Greek citizens and "a lot will depend on what proposals the Greek government now puts on the table."

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12:30 p.m.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said discussions over Greece's debt sustainability are not "taboo" and that the country could not recover given its current repayment obligations "in the months and years to come."

He also called for the European Central Bank to maintain liquidity assistance to Greek banks. French and German leaders are meeting late Monday for a "deep conversation" leading to a solution, Sapin told Europe 1 radio.

France has through the last few months been one of the most conciliatory eurozone countries towards Greece.

In a report last week, the International Monetary Fund said Greece would need debt relief as well as newfinancing worth more than 60 billion euros through 2018 to avoid financial collapse.

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12:15 p.m.

Greece's employment minister is signaling a conciliatory tone in upcoming talks with European leaders, suggesting that leaving the eurozone would be the worst possible option for the beleaguered country.

Rania Antonopoulos told the BBC that there is still time to get a deal. With Greece's future hanging in the balance, the country is running out of cash and is at risk of a financial crash.

"There are still 48 hours, there is still this week," said Antonopoulos. "We will push as much as possible for an outcome, a result of these negotiations that does not obligate Greece to go in that direction."

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11:55 a.m.

Cyprus says it has been the only bailed-out country in the 19-country eurozone to support Greece's demand for restructuring its massive debt.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has told state radio that Cyprus' president and finance minister backed a restructuring of Greek debt and negotiations between Greece and its creditors need to begin immediately.

Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said last week that the country could consider writing off 330 million euros ($370 million) in rescue loans to Greece if other eurozone countries agreed on a deal to lighten the country's debt load.

Cyprus became the fourth eurozone country to be bailed out in 2013 following Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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11:45 a.m.

Finland's finance minister says Greece will need to conduct extensive reforms no matter what happens next and says that "the ball is now in Greece's court."

Alexander Stubb said on his website Monday that's it up to the Greek government to decide what Sunday's referendum vote against creditors' previous proposals means in practice. He stressed that "the instruments and rules for the stabilization of the eurozone remain unchanged."

Stubb says that the near future will be very difficult for Greece and mending the economy will require extensive reforms.

He added that "negotiations can only be resumed when the Greek government is willing to cooperate and commit itself to measures to stabilize the country's public economy and implement the structural reforms required for debt sustainability."

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11:36 a.m.

European stock markets trimmed earlier losses after Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he was quitting his post despite the overwhelming 'no' vote in the country's referendum on creditor proposals on Sunday.

After opening sharply lower, European stock markets recovered some ground on the news. The Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was down 1.6 percent while Germany's DAX fell 1.2 percent.

Over months of negotiations, Varoufakis' relations with his peers in the 19-country eurozone had clearly deteriorated. Traders say his resignation may offer a glimmer of hope of easing negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors.

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10:55 a.m.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin says it is up to Greece to come up with an offer after the vote, hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Paris for an emergency meeting with the French president.

"The basis of a dialogue is on the table, but it's up to Greece to show us that it takes the dialogue seriously and that it knows it can stay in the euro and that there are decisions to make," Sapin told Europe 1 radio Monday. He said the referendum clearly showed strong support for the Greek prime minister, but beyond that its consequences were not immediately clear.

France had no desire to see Greece leave Europe but Sapin insisted that the bloc would not be destabilized if that happened. "It's Greece that is in difficulty. Europe is not in difficulty — Europe is facing a Greek difficulty."

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10:30 a.m.

A meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the leaders of six of the seven parties represented in Parliament is under way at the presidential palace.

Tsipras requested Monday's meeting shortly after the austerity referendum results showed a clear victory for the "no" camp. He said he aimed to share his strategy for negotiations with creditors on a new bailout deal and call for support.

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10:15 a.m.

Government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said in a statement that a replacement for Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who resigned Monday, would be announced later in the day after a meeting of political party leaders.

Sakellaridis said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras "feels the need to thank (Varoufakis) for his ceaseless efforts to promote the government's positions and the interests of the Greek people, under very difficult conditions."

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9:50 a.m.

A prominent lawmaker with one of Germany's governing parties says he doubts that the departure of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will make talks on Greece's financial future easier.

Carsten Schneider of the center-left Social Democrats told ZDF television that the resignation is "not so important" and what matters is what policies the Greek government wants to pursue.

Varoufakis, who had annoyed many of his fellow eurozone finance ministers, said he was told that some ministers and other creditors would prefer that he not attend the ministers' meetings.

Schneider said that Varoufakis "can't keep his promises and is drawing the consequences by fleeing." He added that a new minister might create a little more trust, but what is needed is Greek willingness to accept reforms and stabilize the country.

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9:20 a.m.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in his resignation statement that his decision was made to further the Greek peoples' cause.

"We of the left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office," said Varoufakis, who had become a focal point for friction in meetings with Greece's creditors.

He hailed the "no" vote in the referendum as a victory for democracy that would have global impact.

"The superhuman effort to honor the brave people of Greece, and the famous "oxi" ("no) that they granted to democrats the world over is just beginning," he said Monday morning.

No replacement has yet been named.

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8:57 a.m.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned, saying he was told shortly after the Greek referendum result that the some eurozone finance ministers and Greece's other creditors would prefer he not attend the ministers' meetings.

Varoufakis issued an announcement Monday saying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that Varoufakis' resignation "might help achieve a deal" and that he was leaving the finance ministry for this reason.

Varoufakis is known for his brash style and fondness for frequent media appearances at the start of his tenure when the new government was formed in January. He had visibly annoyed many of the eurozone's finance ministers during Greece's debt negotiations.

He said in a statement released by the Finance Ministry that it is crucial there is a "proper resolution" involving debt restructuring immediately.

He said the prime minister had judged it "potentially helpful to him" if he is absent from the upcoming meetings with Greece's creditors.

"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride," he said, adding that he fully supports the prime minister and the government.

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3:35 a.m.

The final results of Greece's bailout referendum are in, with all 19,159 precincts reporting. The "No" side won with a higher than expected 61.31 percent, while "Yes" got 38.69 percent.

A total of 6.16 million Greeks voted in Sunday's referendum, or 62.5 percent of eligible voters. The poll needed a minimum 40 percent turnout to be valid.

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