Greece cannot have more time to repay the share of its public debt held by the European Central Bank (ECB), a senior official of the EU's monetary policy administrator said Saturday.
"We can neither extend the maturities for Greek bonds nor lower the interest rates," ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen was quoted as telling German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Saturday.
"Both would be a form of debt relief, and so direct financing of the Greek state. The ECB is not legally allowed to do that." The recently elected Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has requested the reschedule of the debts to enact reforms and budget cuts.
On Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said that accepting a longer repayment schedule for Greek government bonds in ECB hands "would qualify as monetary financing" which is banned by European Union treaties.