December date for debt discussions
ESM to table short-term measures in next month’s Eurogroup, when IMF will also discuss its participation
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.