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BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) - Greece needs to pay back all the money it received from its euro zone partners rather than asking for debt relief, the head of the euro zone’s rescue fund was quoted as saying on Friday.
“Greece must pay back these loans in full. That’s what we expect and nothing has changed in that regard,” Klaus Regling, head of the European Stability Mechanism, told German business daily Handelsblatt.
Asked about Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ calls for a haircut, or debt restructuring, Regling said: “The new Greek government’s communication has, at times, been irritating in recent days.”
Tsipras’ demand for a debt cut contradicts the agreement the Eurogroup made on Feb. 20, in which Athens reassured its euro zone partners it would fulfil its obligations to all of its creditors, Regling said.
He said a debt cut was neither necessary economically nor feasible politically.
Regling said he was “extremely concerned” about the new government’s attempts to steer a different political course to the previous government, which had been implementing reforms and seen the economy return to growth.
He added that Greece needed to revamp its public administration, health system, labour market and pension system in return for European solidarity.
Regling also said Athens’ behaviour was “unacceptable” when it accused Spain and Portugal of conspiring against Greece on Saturday. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin and Robin Pomeroy)