Merkel seeks to dampen talk of 3rd Greek bailout

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president of the European Union's executive branch cautioned Wednesday against speculation that Greece will need a third financial bailout.

Though Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has insisted his country won't seek another bailout, Greece will most likely need some form of assistance to see it beyond the summer. Greece and its creditors recently agreed a four-month extension to Athens' second bailout to June.

Merkel said "we have our hands full" implementing that agreement and "that's what I am concentrating on."

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said after meeting Merkel it is "premature" to speculate about another program.

Their comments followed a declaration Monday from Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos that a third package was being negotiated, though his ministry said after he spoke that a third bailout was "hypothetical."

De Guindos on Wednesday said Greece will need a new accord or program if it does not regain access to market financing by June.

He has said Greece could need as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion) in further assistance.