Talk of new Greek debt haircut 'unhelpful'

A top European Central Bank official said Wednesday that talk of new Greek debt write-downs was unhelpful, urging Athens instead to push on with reforms required for the next instalment of bailout cash.

"The returning discussions about a debt write-down are not helpful as they distract from the necessary reform efforts," ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen told the daily Die Welt.

"Despite progress there are still some things to do in order to conclude the review positively," Asmussen said.

Experts from the ECB, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are currently in Athens to review Greece's progress in implementing much-needed reforms.

A Eurogroup meeting on July 8 will determine whether Greece can draw 6.3 billion euros ($8.2 billion) from its ongoing bailout.

The IMF is also scheduled to decide by the end of July whether to disburse its own scheduled contribution of 1.8 billion euros.

Since 2010, the EU and IMF have committed a total of 240 billion euros to the heavily indebted country.

Deputy finance minister Steffen Kampeter similarly believed that while "Greece has already achieved a great deal, the country is still facing a long and hard reform process".

Just as Athens could count on the solidarity of its EU partners, Greece must meet its reform commitments, Kampeter told Die Welt.