De­cem­ber date for debt dis­cus­sions

ESM to ta­ble short-term mea­sures in next month’s Eurogroup, when IMF will also dis­cuss its par­tic­i­pa­tion

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The short-term mea­sures which the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism (ESM) is prepar­ing re­gard­ing the light­en­ing of Greece’s na­tional debt will be pre­sented in next month Eurogroup meet­ing, ESM man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Klaus Regling said yes­ter­day in Brus­sels.

Speak­ing after the Novem­ber meet­ing of eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters, held yes­ter­day in the Bel­gian cap­i­tal, Regling added that progress is be­ing made in the prepa­ra­tion of those mea­sures but their pro­cess­ing has not yet been com­pleted.

The Ger­man of­fi­cial fur­ther stressed at a press con­fer­ence that if those mea­sures are im­ple­mented, “they will have an ob­vi­ous pos­i­tive im­pact on the Greek debt.”

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Di­js­sel­bloem also re­ferred to those ESM pro­pos­als as he called on Athens to pro­ceed to the speed­i­est pos­si­ble com­ple­tion of the sec­ond bailout re­view. Speak­ing at the same press con­fer­ence the Dutch fi­nance min­is­ter said that “it is in ev­ery­one’s in­ter­est that we com­plete the sec­ond re­view as early as pos­si­ble,” point­ing to the meet­ing to the next Eurogroup meet­ing, sched­uled for De­cem­ber 5, for any fur­ther dis­cus­sions over the Greek bailout pro­gram.

“We will then have the pro­pos­als by the ESM on the short-term mea­sures for the Greek debt and know more about the re­forms Greece will make on its la­bor and so­cial poli­cies, as well as on the course of its fis­cal fig­ures for 2017 and 2018,” Di­js­sel­bloem stated.

He went on to note that the Eurogroup “looks for­ward steadily to the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund in the Greek pro­gram,” that the Fund has con­firmed its de­sire to take part in the pro­gram, and that this is­sue will also be dis­cussed dur­ing next month’s Eurogroup meet­ing.

In the same vein, Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner for Eco­nomic Af- fairs Pierre Moscovici told the press con­fer­ence the chief rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the cred­i­tors will re­turn to Athens next week in or­der to con­tinue the sec­ond re­view, and to com­plete it as soon as pos­si­ble.

The French of­fi­cial also ar­gued that “it is de­sir­able and fea­si­ble that we get a com­plete agree­ment in De­cem­ber so as to re­turn from 2017 to sta­bil­ity and con­fi­dence” and an­nounced he is com­ing to Athens at the end of the month.

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