European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said drachma clauses being inserted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) into new loan agreements with Greek companies are “unfortunate.”
The Commission has put pressure on the lender to withdraw all clauses that relate to a possible Greek exit from the eurozone or the collapse of the euro area in general. Its intervention appears to have borne fruit.
According to sources, Rehn met this week with his Greek colleague, Maria Damanaki, and informed her of his personal disagreement with the EIB requirements. He also reported that the bank’s governor, Werner Hoyer, had promised that the the clauses will be removed from the agreements.
The same sources told Kathimerini that the Finnish commissioner branded the terms “bureaucratic” and the EIB’s intention to impose them ”unfortunate and incomprehensible.”
Rehn’s intervention followed a letter from Damanaki informing him of a report run by Kathimerini a few days ago about the insistence of EIB to include drachma clauses in the 70-million-euro loan it agreed with Public Power Corporation, Greece’s main electricity producer, for a new plant at Megalopoli.
Damanaki cited the report by Kathimerini in her letter to Rehn, suggesting that the EIB initiative was arbitrary and running counter to the Commission’s position, and particularly to its recent statement about growth in Greece. She added that it was at least unfortunate that while the eurozone has agreed to lend Greece 130 billion euros, the main funding branch of the European Union disputes, if indirectly, Greece’s future in the eurozone.Ekathimerini.com