OECD chief: new Greek bailout terms may be needed

LOS CABOS, Mexico Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:38pm EDT

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LOS CABOS, Mexico (Reuters) - Greece should be given a chance to renegotiate the terms of its 130 billion-euro international bailout if it means keeping the country in the euro zone, the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Saturday.

Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Paris-based OECD, said if the next Greek government opted to stay in the single currency bloc, it was likely to seek to renegotiate the terms of the European Union/International Monetary Fund rescue.

"It is a scenario I see (as) likely and if that is the condition presented for Greece to stay and then move on, I would say it is probably something that should be attempted," he said in an interview ahead of a Group of 20 summit in Mexico.

Greek voters go to the polls on Sunday in an election that could determine its future in the euro zone. The left-wing SYRIZA party says it wants to tear up the terms of the international package, which includes tough austerity measures that have plunged the Greek economy into recession and sparked social unrest.

Earlier on Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out renegotiating the bailout saying Greece's next government should stick to the agreements.

Gurria said Greece's major political leaders had expressed a desire to stay in the euro area.

"I therefore do not discard there could be some adjustment of the (bailout) conditions to give more time or to put more emphasis on certain of the adjustments than others," he said.

"If every one of the candidates say they want to stay in the euro, then it's a different game. A month ago we were saying 'what if'"? he added.

(Reporting by Lesley; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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