A man walks past stores shut down and covered with graffiti in central Athens
Frankfurt - AFP
The European Commission expects a major increase in Greece's debt over the next two years, the German daily Die Welt reported Thursday, claiming to have seen Brussels' latest analysis of the debt burden.
According to the newspaper, the Commission's study predicts Greece's debt to grow to 196 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 and to 201 percent of GDP in 2016.
The country's current debt burden stands at around 320 billion euros, or 170 percent of national output.
Looking ahead, the study forecasts the debt dropping to 175 percent of GDP in 2020 and around 122 percent by 2030, a level still higher that the 120 percent that the International Monetary Fund considers a sustainable debt limit, the paper said.
The report on the debt figures comes as the Greek parliament is set Thursday to vote on the tough austerity terms of a new 85-billion-euro ($94.8-billion) rescue package, the third international bailout for the country since 2010.
The bailout agreement hammered out with Greece's creditors -- the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- must also be approved by its eurozone partners and the parliaments of several member states, especially Germany.
Eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels on Friday to decide whether to approve the final deal.
Athens and its creditors are under pressure to get approval for the accord in time to meet an August 20 deadline for the repayment of some 3.4 billion euros Greece owes the European Central Bank.