BERLIN – Greek leader Antonis Samaras told a German paper in an interview published on Friday his country could not manage beyond November without the next tranche of international aid and suggested the ECB could help by easing the terms of its Greek debt holdings.
"The key is liquidity. That is why the next credit tranche is so important for us," Samaras told the business daily Handelsblatt. Asked how long Greece could manage without it, he said: "Until the end of November. Then the cash box is empty."
The European Central Bank could help by accepting lower interest rates on its existing Greek debt holdings "or it could approve a rollover when these bonds mature", he said.
"I could also imagine the recapitalization of Greek banks as is being considered for Spain, which would be not accounted for on its state debts but carried out directly via the ESM. That would be a significant relief," said Samaras.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Gernot Heller)