Eurogroup: Institutions Will Return to Greece

Monday, February 20th, 2017
Last Update: 20:17

The institutions’ missions will be returning to Athens to hammer out a staff-level agreement on remaining reforms, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem announced on Monday after the conclusion of the Eurogroup.

Athens is not obligated to legislate measures in order for the institutions to return; if and when new measures are legislated Athens will have the right to apply redistributive measures in the event that targets are met. Ministers have not yet made it clear how many years it will be necessary to maintain the target of 3.5% — something that can only be decided on a staff level agreement. In addition, the possibility for the return of collective bargaining in labor is open, but with a manner which takes the improvement of community practices into account. In any case, Greece must agree to a “significant package which includes tax and pension reforms.”

The Eurogroup President stated that the ministers have agreed that medium-term measures will exist to restructure the debt — something that was agreed on back in March.

The President pointed out that we have not yet reached a full “political agreement, but the institutions have enough confidence to go back,” which is equally important. “It will allow them to do their job on the ground,” noted the President while explaining that a staff level agreement must be concluded immediately and then “we will see the outcome of these negotiations.

European Commissioner Pierre Moskovisi stressed that “we have had a productive and creative discussion on Greece,” while conditions for “the return of all 4 institutions in Athens to reach a staff level agreement” have concluded.

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