Regling: Greece in final stretch to exit program; ESM sub-tranche released today

Thursday, 14 June 2018 13:35

ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling on Thursday continued his almost week-long statements regarding the Greek program, speaking in the country, in fact, and reminding that the "final stretch" in its "marathon" is at hand, although much work remains to be completed in the next few days.

He also revealed that a one-billion-euro sub-tranche in bailout money, left over from the third review, will be disbursed into Greek state coffers within the day.

Speaking at the Economist's semi-annual "Roundtable with the Greek government" conference, held at a resort southeast of Athens, the head of the Eurozone's emergency fund merely reiterated that Eurogroup finance ministers will decide further debt relief measures for Greece if this is "necessary".

Two warnings issued by Regling, moreover, referred to the still pressing issue of the level of NPLs still burdening Greek systemic banks' balance sheets, as well as Greece's foray into the markets after the end of the current bailout.

At the same time, he said the ESM will not abandon the country, if when the difficult phase has passed.

Regling said deliberations within the Eurozone and with other creditors are focusing on how to help Greece stand on its own two feet after the memorandum - the third consecutive bailout since 2010 - ends in August 2018. He also stressed that the roots of problems in the Greek economy were much deeper than in any other Eurozone member.

Among others, he reminded of a huge 15 percent annual budget deficit that has been transformed into an annual budget surplus, thanks, in large part, to reforms undertaken in the past few years.

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