Jack Lew: Greece’s debt must be restructured and the quicker this happens the better

Greece’s debt must be restructured and the quicker this happens the better, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew repeated on Friday, noting that Europe must decide quickly on the terms of Greek debt relief. Speaking at a press briefing during the annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington DC, Lew pointed out that this was the “first IMF meeting for a long time when we are not dealing with something that can be described as a Greek crisis.”

“As the review progresses it must be completed promptly and we must avoid finding ourselves at a moment that can again be described as a Greek crisis. In the end, debt relief must be part of the solution so the sooner the terms of this are made clear, the better,” Lew said.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary noted that Greece was implementing the measures agreed, some of which were harsh, and all sides were now discussing how to move forward and implement the May agreement. This was progress but the reforms must be completed, he added, and the reviews concluded on time.

“What I said yesterday reflects my views and expresses what I have been saying these past days but also for some time now. Apart from Greece meeting the commitments and implementing harsh measures, there is also a need for debt relief. I think that the quicker this takes on flesh and bones, the better it will be,” he said.