Greece ‘about to sink,’ Turkish president says

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hürriyet Daily News

File:Abdullah Gül Davos.jpg

 This file photo shows Turkish President Abdullah Gül speaking at a previous event. ‘Greece is about to go bankrupt,’ the president told minibus drivers in Istanbul on June 8, 2011. AA photo




Greece could soon go bankrupt due to the crushing interest payments it is being forced to pay as part of an international restructuring plan, Turkish President Abdullah Gül told a group of Istanbul minibus drivers during an impromptu conversation Wednesday.

“As you know, we are going to European countries frequently. They really envy Turkey,” said the president. “Greece is about to go bankrupt. If someone’s ability to pay is weak, they demand high interest. If the ability to pay is high, the interest demanded is low.”

Responding to a driver’s question at the Tarabya minibus stop after attending a funeral on Wednesday, Gül said the current stability in Turkey was “of key importance.”

Greek 10-year government bonds were yielding above 16.6 percent at 2:20 p.m. Thursday, compared to just above 3 percent for similar maturity German bonds.

Germany is also concerned that qualified Turkish-Germans “are returning to Turkey” these days, Gül said, according to media reports.

In response to another driver who complained he could not see Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gül said the premier was “very busy.”

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