Dombrovskis: The ‘ideal timeframe’ would be to finish Greece’s 3rd review by end of year

The “ideal timeframe” for the completion of Greece’s third program review would be by the end of the year, but this will depend on whether the Greek side implements the necessary measures, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Monday, in an interview with TV channel SKAI.

“As you know there are some 95 actions to be completed and many of those actions concern implementation of the measures already legislated, and indeed the ideal timeframe would be to finish the third review this year. But what will determine it really is progress on the Greek side with implementation of necessary measures,” he said.

Asked whether it is possible for Greece to have a “clean” exit from its program next year, as Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos predicted after the last Eurogroup, Dombrovskis appeared cautious.

“I would say this discussion is a bit early, we still have the third review to go but first I would emphasize the preparation of next year’s budget ensuring that primary surplus reaches 3.5 percent of GDP,” he said.

On the question of whether the institutions were wrong to raise taxation in the country as part of its reform program, the EC official said it was the government’s preference to choose these measures over others.

“We had quite extensive discussions with the Greek authorities for the composition of measures […] and it was actually preference of the government to emphasize quite substantially tax increases,” he said.