Greece can quickly reduce its public debt ratio by boosting economic growth, European Central Bank policy maker Christian Noyer said Monday, casting aside the idea of writing off part of the country’s debt mountain.
Greece has the capacity to grow quickly, partly because it has an underutilized workforce, Mr. Noyer said. The country also pays little to service its debt—which stands at around 175% of annual economic output–because European lenders have granted low interest rates and deferred repayment deadlines, said Mr. Noyer, who sits on the ECB’s governing council and is the governor of the Bank of France.
Mr. Noyer’s comments indicate little sympathy for calls to lighten Greece’s debt burden after the Syriza party won snap Greek elections last week on a platform of securing debt relief from its EUR240 billion bailout and changes to the terms of the deal with eurozone countries.
The central banker said that some adjustments are perhaps possible, but the charges on the debt are already very low.