EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on Friday welcomed the significant commitments undertaken by the Greek government towards speeding up a privatizations plan and implementing structural reforms in the country, while he called on the country’s political forces to back the main objectives and policies of the programme.
In a statement, the Commissioner said:
"The latest commitments by the Greek authorities are essential to restore fiscal sustainability and create the conditions for sustained growth and improving employment in Greece. They are crucial decisions at a critical moment to safeguard financial stability and economic recovery in Europe.
"The government's commitment to significantly accelerate the privatization plan, a cornerstone of the recovery programme, is particularly important, as it will alleviate the debt burden and also contribute to boost competitiveness of the economy.
"Effective and smooth implementation of the structural reforms remain key, especially in the healthcare sector, in the labour market as well as in transport and energy sectors. All these sectors have the potential to become growth drivers for the country. A successful implementation of these reforms will further contribute to restore confidence in the Greek economy among its international partners and market participants.
"In this sense, the European Commission and the Member States are ready to reinforce their technical assistance in those economic areas where the authorities may feel the need. Since the beginning of the adjustment programme, Greece has received such technical assistance from the Commission and the IMF in various policy areas relevant to implementation of the programme. We remain open to explore possibilities for further and reinforced assistance should there be a need, for instance in taxation and privatization matters.
"These decisive steps by the Greek authorities, if followed by full implementation, will pave the way for the Eurogroup to look into further steps to ensure that Greece can pursue such economic policies.
"Once again, I call on all political forces in Greece to put aside their domestic disputes and endorse the main objectives and policies of the programme, for the sake of the recovery of the country, for the sake of growth and employment."