Positive outcome for Greece on debt issue soon to help Europe: deputy PM

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A debt settlement for Greece by early 2017 was essential to help the debt-laden country return to sustainable growth and would also help stability across Europe, Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragassakis said on Sunday, ruling out the prospect of a fourth bailout.

"Greece is part of the problem and can be part of the solution. A positive outcome for Greece will also help Europe," he said during an interview with Greek national broadcaster ERT.

Following the conclusion earlier this October of the first review of the third bailout Greece signed with its international creditors in the summer of 2015, the Greek government requested the immediate start of talks on debt relief by the end of this year to make the country's debt load sustainable.

However, representatives of its lenders respond that there is no urgency to address such a matter in coming weeks, while scenarios of a new bailout are circulating in international media.

"There is no economic argument against a debt settlement," Dragassakis said.

Should a solution providing debt relief for Greece will not be reached by 2017, this would be a crisis for the entire Europe, which is entering a phase of less stability as a result of the British referendum on Brexit and upcoming elections in several European Union member states, the Greek official said.

It is harmful to Greece's interests to even discuss the prospect of a fourth bailout today, he added.

Regarding Athens' proposal for the way forward, Dragassakis underlined three key elements.

"Greece must regulate its debt, enter the quantitative easing program and gain access to the markets in a sustainable way," he said. Endit

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