Belgian finance minister sees room to discuss 'modalities' of Greek program, not the essence

Belgium's finance minister says he sees some room to discuss the "modalities" of the Greek debt program with the other eurozone nations after the election victory of the left-wing Syriza party that seeks an end to painful austerity measures.

Johan Van Overtveldt said on the eve of a eurozone finance ministers' meeting that "we can talk modalities, we can talk debt restructuring, but the cornerstone that Greece must respect the rules of monetary union — that must stay as it is."

He told VRT network Sunday that even if some things could be changed to accommodate the demands of Syriza "it is impossible to fundamentally change things."

In Germany, the opposition Left Party has welcomed the Greek result, calling it a "sign of hope for a new start in Europe."