Greece talks failure will not mean immediate exit, says minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Even if Greece debt talks fail to reach a solution by the end of the month, the nation will not automatically leave the Eurozone, says Estonian Finance Minister Sven Sester.

Greece must find 1.6 billion euros by the end of the month to pay back the International Monetary Fund. The country is hoping for a 7.2-billion-euro injection from international creditors.

“All sides are working towards that (Greece leaving the single currency area) not taking place. Even if there is no positive solution at the end of the month there are still a number of scenarios for Greece to continue in the Eurozone,” Sester said.

Andres Viisemann, the head of LHV's pension funds, said both Greece and creditors should receive blame for the crisis. “I think there is no reason to believe Greece will ever be able to pay off all it owes,” Viisemann said in the bank's monthly report.

In his opinion, both sides have made mistakes as Greece asked and received loans it was unable to service. “The odds are that the final solution will be very painful for both sides, even if the solution is again postponed,” he said.

Lauri Lepik, Estonia's ambassador to NATO, said the Greek crisis has had no effect on the alliance.

“I think tensions have not been felt in NATO now or before. We are allies and we care about our security. We must, in the EU as well as in NATO, separate foreign policy from internal matters,” he told Postimees.

Greek and EU officials are meeting now to discuss potential solutions to the problem.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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