Brussels could ease terms of Greek bailout

City A.M. Reporter
THE EUROZONE will not tear up the main targets of Greece’s bailout no matter who wins Sunday’s elections, but it might consider giving a new government in Athens some leeway on how it reaches them, officials in Brussels have said.

Even that offer would depend on a government being in place that was prepared to stick to the prescribed austerity path and some policymakers are reluctant to go even that far.

If Greece rejects the bailout deal it struck in February, all bets would be off and pressure would grow on it to quit the currency bloc.

“The headline targets cannot be changed,” one senior EU official said. “There could be some tweaks to the path to get there, but not the goals.”

No Greek party has called for euro exit, but the leftist Syriza party rejects the stringent terms of the bailout, without which Greece will default.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras believes he can get much more favourable terms for Greece – a view EU leaders roundly reject. French President Francois Hollande has also warned Athens that if it reneged on the terms of the bailout, it could have to leave the euro.