US insists on need for compromise between Greece, creditors

Washington, July 7 (IANS) The US has said the needs of the Greek economy remain “the same” following the referendum in the country on Sunday, for which it urged “a compromise” between Athens and international creditors to come up with a package of reforms and financing, Efe news agency reported.

“The referendum is over, but our view here at the White House remains the same… it will require both a package of financing and reforms that will allow Greece to achieve, or at least be on a path towards some debt sustainability, but also be on a path towards economic growth,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in his daily press conference on Monday.

In the first statement from Washington after the resounding victory of the “No” vote in this Sunday’s referendum in Greece against the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, Earnest said the US has “long indicated that it’s our view that it’s in their collective interest for these differences to be resolved”, but noted that ultimately that it would be “the responsibility of the Europeans to resolve.”

Over the past few weeks, Washington has indicated to European leaders that the structural reform package should be accompanied by a bailout of the Greek debt, something about which countries like Germany and the Netherlands have been more than wary.

However, “despite their significant differences… all sides do recognise they have a collective interest in trying to arrive at the package… that allows Greece to remain part of the eurozone”, Earnest said.

As to the possible financial impact of the Greek crisis on the global economy, Earnest recalled President Barack Obama’s statement last week, who calmed the situation somewhat by saying he did not foresee any serious consequences.

Before the referendum, Obama was in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, while US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew spoke with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.

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