Dijsselbloem: Eurogroup likely to ‘give more clarity’ on debt relief for Greece on Thursday

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg will discuss the size of the loan tranche for Greece and also “give more clarity” on debt relief, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Thursday, ahead of the finance ministers’ meeting. He was also very upbeat about the final outcome of the meeting, saying he hoped for “a very positive step forward, building on the huge effort that Greece has put in.”

“We will go into the final stage of the programme, the final year of the programme, preparing Greece for an exit of the programme. That’s the kind of discussion that from now on we are going to have. It’s a new phase… We need to help and support Greece in making that exit successfully next year,” he said.

Asked whether Thursday’s meeting will focus on debt sustainability, Dijsselbloem repeated that the final decisions will be taken at the end of the programme.

“…as you know today will not be the meeting where we take the final decision on what size of debt relief is needed. We’ve outlined last year what kind of debt measures we have standing ready and we’ve always said that at the end of the programme, in the second half of next year, we will do the final calibrations of what is needed and how to design it. But I think today we will give more clarity to Greece and to the IMF, which has been asking for that kind of clarity on how we will move forward, how we will calibrate debt relief needed next year,” he said.

There would be a discussion on the process but no final figure was likely to emerge on Thursday, he explained.

“We need to agree on the process: how we will calibrate, who will calibrate it and how we then decide the whole package, that’s the kind of discussions we will have today. There won’t be a figure that rolls out of that. The figure will only come at the end of the programme,” he said.