Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Friday for the first time that a bond rollover that is part of its second 160-billion-euro ($230 billion) bailout programme is unlikely before October.
"We don't expect to have finished until the first or second week of October, as the [eurozone member] parliaments need to vote, and the banks and insurance companies have their procedures," Venizelos said on the Athens radio station Skai.
At an emergency meeting last month, eurozone countries agreed to provide Greece with another 109 billion euros, with an additional 50 billion euros in assistance to come from the private sector via a voluntary rollover of bonds.
Under the plan, banks and insurance companies holding Greek sovereign bonds could swap them for longer-term ones, extending the repayment deadlines to give Greece breathing space and effectively reducing its debt.
Venizelos said Greece wants to complete the rollover as soon as possible but "the private sector is waiting for guarantees" from the eurozone states, while eurozone states "are waiting to see the negotiations with the private sector advance favourably."
He said Greece currently had enough funds available, with 45 billion euros still available under its first 110-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout programme agreed in May 2010.
The next tranche of funds under that bailout is expected to be disbursed next month, with EU and IMF experts currently in Athens to audits its fiscal performance.