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Greek finance minister calls for ECB debt payments to be pushed back
[ATHENS] Greece's debt is not viable and the country's debt repayments to the European Central Bank should be pushed back, the Greek finance minister said on Thursday. "Over July-August the finance ministry will have to borrow 6.7 billion euros from our partners in one way or the other to repay bonds from the SMP programme," Yanis Varoufakis told a conference in Athens, referring to bonds bought by the ECB under the Securities Market Programme over 2010-2011. "About 27 billion euros of those bonds are still left, which should be repaid in the next months or years. These bonds should be pushed back to the distant future. This is clear." Mr Varoufakis, an economics professor and blogger who has riled European policymakers with his sharp anti-austerity talk, has been sidelined in negotiations with EU and IMF lenders but remains involved in the talks.