Declan Costello, representing the European Commission in the institutions’ missions in Athens, stressed on Thursday the need for the Europeans to meet their commitments regarding Greek debt relief and proceed with an agreement on a series of front-load measures to ease the country’s public debt.
Costello was addressing an international conference organized by the Greek Economic Chamber.
He underlined that the recent crisis in Italy sends out a message that when Greece comes out of the programme, it will be in a “fragile state”.
“There is a negative impact from Italy on spreads, and what is happening does not help the government, the banks or the businesses,” he said.
He also warned that the country should not change its policy and reverse the reforms because this would undermine confidence.
Costello noted that Greece has been in the programme for eight years and many things have been achieved in that time. The country has built up a cash buffer that reduces its exposure to the markets and is ready to ‘take off’, he said. He also emphasized that Greece’s partners must honour their commitments concerning the country’s debt and for Greece to have sustainable policies.
Costello said in his speech that Greece will complete the programme and that the Eurogroup on June 21 will examine the conclusion of the fourth review, debt relief and the post-programme progress of the country. At the same time, he estimated that the radical structural reforms in the country will require 5-10 years to complete.