Eurogroup Outcome Negative for Greece

Thursday, January 26th, 2017
Last Update: 22:18

Greece’s efforts to unlock negotiations on the bailout program review have failed as euro zone finance ministers on Thursday did not set a date for creditors‘ representatives to return to Athens and resume negotiations.

Furthermore, during the Eurogroup Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos received pressure to commit for additional fiscal measures beyond 2018, when the bailout program ends.

In the press conference that followed, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem underlined that it is for the benefit of all to expedite the completion of the second review of the bailout program. He called on Greece to move faster so that creditors’ representatives return to Athens as soon as possible and resume negotiations.

However, the Eurogroup president stated that more measures are necessary for 2019, in order for Greece to achieve its targets. “We ask from Greece to implement reforms in security funds, labor market and pension system,” he said.

Furthermore, Dijsselbloem said that the International Monetary Fund will remain in Greece’s bailout program and there is no other way.

Commissioner on financial affairs Pierre Moscovici noted that “no one wants to return to the past,” meaning talks on the first program review that took several months. “We can succeed if we all make an effort,” he said, adding that “we are not far away.” Moscovici also said he hopes creditors’ representatives return to Athens soon to resume negotiations.

European Stability Mechanism President Klaus Regling talked about the short-term measures for Greek debt easing and reiterated the position that Greece must implement the bailout program in full and that includes the completion of the second evaluation.

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