EuroGroup calls for faster steps from Athens

Press conference after 2-hour EuroGroup meeting

EuroGroup President Jeroen Dijsslebloem said the meeting was short adding that the debate was not intense. As he explained during the press conference, the Finance Ministers received the reports drafted by technical staff in Athens in order to move rapidly forward with the 3rd review of the Greek programme. “The goal is to complete the evaluation before the end of the year,” he said, stressing that “faster steps were necessary on a number of issues.”

The Eurogroup also examined the prosecution of former ELSTAT chief Andreas Georgiou. “We have been concerned about court cases,” said Commissioner Moscovici, commenting on the Georgiou matter.

“We fully respect the independence of the justice system,” he added, adding that “such cases can have reputational damage for Greece, and if no solution was reached, it can harm the recovery of confidence in the investors’ classes.”

Both the President of the EuroGroup and the director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regling made comments on the Georgiou issue, calling for the independence of the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Mr. Moscovici said that the ESM programme would expire in one year, adding that significant progress had been made after the completion of the second evaluation and that growth had returned to Greece. Mr. Regling made reference to the 800-million-euro sub-tranche that had not been released for Greece, stressing that it could be disbursed befire the end of October.