It is essential that Greece take all the necessary decisions to fully cover a fiscal deviation for the current year, which resulted both from delays in implementing certain measures and to a worsening economic recession in the country, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn stated on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters during a presentation of the European Commission’s interim forecasts for the seven largest economies in the EU - which account for 80 pct of community GDP -- Rehn stressed that the Greek government took very important decisions that go a long way to meeting the fiscal target for the year and noted that “the ball is in Greece’s court”.
The Commissioner noted that it was essential that Greek authorities remained on this path in order to convince their partners, thereby allowing a timely decision by the Euro area and the IMF before the next hurdles in the bailout financing emerge. He added that finalisation of a new programme should be completed by the end of September or early October.
Rehn said a Eurogroup meeting in Poland on Friday will discuss the Greek government’s measures and noted that if the measures were found convincing then a review mission of the EC-ECB-IMF 'troika' team will return to Athens to complete its assessment by the end of September.
“All this revolves on the condition that Greece meets the conditions we have set to conclude the review,” Rehn said.
The Finnish Commissioner said that fulfilling these obligations will pave the way for the release of a sixth tranche of the bailout package to Greece, and continuing work towards a new programme, which will include the involvement of the private sector.
Commenting on a teleconference between the leaders of Greece, France and Germany on Wednesday, Rehn said it was very important that the leaders of the two largest economies in the Eurozone reiterate their commitment to do what’s necessary to ensure economic stability in the Eurozone, and that they clearly stated that Greece’s future lies with the Eurozone.
The EU Commissioner added that the basic issue, in the medium-term, is for Greece to fulfil its fiscal targets and to promote structural reforms to boost economic growth and competitiveness.