Stournaras op­ti­mistic on re­view

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Bank of Greece Gover­nor Yan­nis Stournaras yes­ter­day ap­peared con­fi­dent the gov­ern­ment is close to wrap­ping up a bailout re­view with the country’s cred­i­tors that will pave the way for debt talks, ad­ding that he ex­pected to see “white smoke” from a De­cem­ber 5 Eurogroup meet­ing.

“The worst is be­hind us,” Stournaras told Bloomberg in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view. “The agenda on Greece is now fixed and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments in Greece are rather bet­ter than ex­pected both on the macro side and the fis­cal side.”

The country’s cen­tral banker and for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter said he is not con­cerned about the pos- sible ef­fect of a ref­er­en­dum in Italy on a con­sti­tu­tional re­view the day be­fore a cru­cial De­cem­ber 5 Eurogroup meet­ing – the last of the year and where eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters are ex­pected to as­sess Greece’s progress and pos­si­bly ini­ti­ate talks for debt re­lief.

Stournaras did, how­ever, say that he would wel­come a de­ci­sion be­fore the new year, which is ex­pected to be a tense one for the bloc as elec­tions loom in Ger­many, France and the Nether­lands.

“The sooner we fin­ish up with the Greek case, the bet­ter,” he said. “I think the gov­ern­ment is now very close to clos­ing the eval­u­a­tion, so I hope that on the fifth, there’s go­ing to be white smoke.”

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras vis­ited the con­struc­tion site of the Trans Adri­atic Pipe­line near Alexan­droupoli in Thrace yes­ter­day, in what the nat­u­ral gas pipe­line com­pany’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ian Brad­shaw said was ‘one more ex­am­ple of the sup­port TAP has re­ceived in re­cent years from the Greek au­thor­i­ties.’

Bank of Greece Gover­nor Yan­nis Stournaras, who is also a for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter.

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