Dijsselbloem: There’s ‘strong joint goal’ to complete Greece’s 3rd review before year’s end

The completion of Greece’s third program review is a “strong joint goal” of the government and the institutions, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told journalists as he arrived for the meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

“I was in Athens recently and we talked about all the issues that need to be done. It’s not so much about legislation at the moment but much more about implementation, putting measures in place. Talks with the teams of the troika are also ongoing. I think we have a strong joint goal and ambition and I think that’s to get this review done before the end of the year,” he said.

Asked whether the result of German elections might harden the country’s position towards the Greek bailout program, Dijsselbloem rejected the claim.

“No, I think we’ve reached a solid agreement in the summer of 2015, which is about a third program and it runs until August next year as you know, and individual elections in individual countries cannot change that program. It’s an agreement between all of the countries of the Eurozone, even if the governments change,” he said.

Commenting on the legacy of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is making his last appearance at the Eurogroup today, the Dutch official said he will miss his experience and wisdom.

“I’m sure that today we’ll spend quite some time reflecting on the eight years he’s been in the Eurogroup, very difficult and challenging years for the Eurozone, in which he played a crucial role. And he is the longest serving member of the Eurogroup. He will be missed -his experience, his wisdom, his sternness sometimes, but also personally as a friend,” he said.

“I think he’s been a great colleague to all of us, giving us advise-sometimes asked, sometimes unasked- but always welcome.”