Greece isn't looking to extend the repayment period of an emergency bailout loan, but that hasn't been ruled out, the nation's finance minister said Wednesday.
George Papaconstantinou said the Greek government is "simply concentrating" on fulfilling the conditions of the euro110 billion ($153 billion) loan package provided by the European Union and the IMF, and that it is not "at the moment thinking or proposing something else" on the repayment period.
Papaconstantinou told the AP on the sidelines of an economic forum on the east Mediterranean island that a repayment extension "is not up to us."
He said, "What is up to us is to do the best that we can to reduce the deficit and do the structural reforms."
Papaconstaninou said Greece's 2009 budget deficit "will be above 15 percent" after final revisions by the EU's statistics agency Eurostat, "which will validate Greek numbers for 2009 once and for all."
The figure confirms how poorly the 2009 budget has been managed and calculated, particularly by the previous conservative government. That administration had estimated the deficit at only 3.6 percent of GDP.