September 11, 2013 / 6:21 AM / 6 years ago

Greece will need help once more, possibly twice: ECB's Coene

An anti-austerity protester holds a Greek flag during a rally in Athens July, 16, 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Bailed out euro zone nation Greece will need further help at least once and possibly twice more, European Central Bank Governing Council member Luc Coene said on Wednesday.

“It’s clear that we are not yet at the end of the Greek problem. We will need to make further efforts, certainly once, perhaps twice more. We will see how the situation develops,” Coene told La Premiere radio station.

International lenders estimate that Greece will need around 10-11 billion euros from the second half of 2014, although several euro zone governments are reluctant to extend further loans because of negative public opinion.

“There is an improvement but it is very slow. Naturally the economic base of Greece is extremely small and it will take a lot of time gradually to put it back in order,” Coene, who is governor of Belgium’s central bank, continued.

“It is inevitable but it is no longer of a nature to call into question the whole edifice,” Coene said referring to the euro zone, whose very future was put in doubt as financial markets tested the willingness of member states to aid sovereign debt crisis victims.

“The problem at the start was about the willingness of other countries to help. This has been resolved by the governments and also by the ECB,” Coene told the radio station.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Adrian Croft

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