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Merkel does not rule out Greek 'haircut' in next few years

Published on Dec 2, 2012 6:38 PM

BERLIN (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday did not rule out a so-called "haircut", or write-down, of Greek debt in the next few years, marking an apparent softening in position.

After being vehemently opposed to accepting a "haircut", Ms Merkel said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag weekly that it could be considered from 2014 if Athens' financial situation improves.

"If Greece can get by on its income one day again without taking on new debt, then we must look at and assess the situation. That won't be the case before 2014/15 if everything goes according to plan," she told the paper.

Opposition politicians have accused Ms Merkel of playing down the need for a write-down of Greek debt holdings by public institutions such as other eurozone governments and the European Central Bank because of federal elections expected to take place on September 22, 2013.

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