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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-09-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Eurogroup president confirms troika to return to Athens later this month

  • [01] Eurogroup president confirms troika to return to Athens later this month

    MILAN (ANA-MPA/Maria Aroni) - Eurogroup President Jerun Dijsselbloem on Friday confirmed that representatives of Greece's troika of creditors will return to Athens by late September and said that a series of meetings held in Paris were "useful" and "prepared the ground."

    Speaking to reporters, in a news conference after completion of an informal Eurogroup meeting here, Dijsselbloem said that eurozone Finance ministers were briefed by their Greek counterpart over progress in implementing a Greek programme. He said that when the picture of the current assessment was clear, Eurogroup could begin discussions on all issues interelated with the termination of the Greek fiscal programme at the end of the year.

    Speaking to reporters, Klaus Regling, head of the European Financial Stability Fund, noted that a sum of 1.0 billion euros was disbursed to Greece in August and stressed that another 1.8 billion euros from the EFSF and 1.8 billion euros from the SMP programme (profits from the holdings of Greek state bonds by European central banks) were due to be disbursed. He added that these sums would be ready to be disbursed soon after the successful completion of the fiscal programme's fifth assessment.

    Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, speaking to ANA-MPA, expressed his satisfaction over a positive discussion held in the Eurogroup over the implementation of the Greek programme. Hardouvelis said the meeting underlined progress made by Greece in the implementation of structural reforms but noted, however, that the agenda of pending issues remained large. The Greek minister agreed with Eurogroup's president that a series of meetings held in Paris with the troika facilitated the arrival of the troika by the end of September in Athens. Hardouvelis said the troika was expected to arrive in Athens around September 25 and said that Greece has so far satisfied 55 pct of agreed measures.

    During the Eurogroup meeting, Hardouvelis explained to his counterparts that in the case of countries hit by a strong recession and crisis, such as Greece, "it was important for people to take a breath, to see the light at the end of the tunnel in order to accept the necessity of reforms". Commenting on the monthly report of ECB, released on Thursday, envisaging a relatively significant fiscal gap for Greece in 2015 and 2016, Hardouvelis said the Greek side did not see it as significant and that this would be presented in a 2015 draft budget to be unveiled in October. He said that discussions over restructuring Greek debt would begin after the release of European bank stress tests.


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