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Greek PM says assured no need to implement past bailout commitments

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Greece has been assured by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that it does not have to implement policies agreed by the previous government under the country's bailout programme, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday.

[BRUSSELS] Greece has been assured by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that it does not have to implement policies agreed by the previous government under the country's bailout programme, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday.

Mr Tsipras said his government would fully respect a deal struck with the eurozone on Feb 20 that required Greece to implement reforms but will not have to complete a final bailout review begun by the last government to secure more aid.

"We all have the same reading of the Feb 20 accord .... There is no such thing as a fifth review. Greece is not obliged to take recessionary measures," he told a news conference after a summit of EU leaders.

Mr Tsipras declined to say when his government would present reforms to the eurozone to unlock fresh aid, which he said would come gradually. That would start either in the form of a return of 1.9 billion euros of ECB profits made on Greek bonds or a partial disbursement of 7.2 billion euros in pending bailout aid.

He denied that Greece had any short-term liquidity issues, saying all payments to institutions and citizens would carry on as usual and that bank deposits were safe.

REUTERS