World

Eurogroup chief rules out Greek debt program renegotiation, a week ahead of elections

  • Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem waits for the start of a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. European Union finance ministers and central bankers hold informal talks in Luxembourg Friday to discuss taxation and ways to further deepen cooperation on the EU’s euro single currency. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem waits for the start of a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. European Union finance ministers and central bankers hold informal talks in Luxembourg Friday to discuss taxation and ways to further deepen cooperation on the EU’s euro single currency. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, right, speaks with Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna during a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. European Union finance ministers and central bankers hold informal talks to discuss taxation and ways to further deepen cooperation on the EU’s euro single currency. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, right, speaks with Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna during a meeting of EU finance ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. European Union finance ministers and central bankers hold informal talks to discuss taxation and ways to further deepen cooperation on the EU’s euro single currency. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the euro currency group of countries has ruled out any renegotiation of the massive loan program meant to save Greece's economy, a week ahead of general elections there.

Greeks go to the polls on Sept. 20 with former prime minister Alexis Tsipras seeking a stronger mandate to implement unpopular reforms needed to secure the 86 billion euros ($97 billion) rescue program.

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Saturday that renegotiation is "not possible" regardless of who wins "so work must continue" on reforms required to secure the loans.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the 19-nation currency bloc, he said that finance ministers had not discussed any debt relief for Greece.

The International Monetary Fund insists on Greek debt relief before taking part in any new bailout.