January 26, 2015 / 7:47 AM / 5 years ago

EU's Oettinger says Greek debt cut would send wrong signal to other countries

BERLIN (Reuters) - EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Monday that a debt restructuring for Greece would send the wrong message to other countries in the euro zone after Greek anti-bailout party Syriza won the election on Sunday.

“If we cut debt (for Greece), that would give the wrong signal to Portugal or Ireland, Cyprus or Spain,” Oettinger told German radio Deutschlandfunk, adding that the new government in Athens had to stick to agreements with its euro zone partners.

Brussels cannot change its position because of an election, the German EU commissioner for digital economy said.

However, Oettinger signaled that Brussels could be flexible on extending some details of loans already granted.

“We have already shown some flexibility on credit maturity. We have already done everything that is feasible when it comes to rates. That is what we offer him (Tsipras),” he said.

Leftwing leader Alexis Tsipras will move on Monday to build a stable government that can take on international lenders and reverse years of painful austerity following a crushing election victory by his Syriza party.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Toby Chopra

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