EU Commissioner Moscovici confirms Greece’s return to growth in 2017

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici expressed the hope that the agreement to be reached at the next Eurogroup will be as “broad” as possible and will include the issue of the Greek debt.

“I hope and I am waiting that an agreement will be reached at the Eurogroup on May 22. We have spent a lot of energy on this and the climate has changed,” he said.

Moscovici welcomed the staff level agreement reached during the institutions’ visit to Athens and called on for the conclusion of the second programme review.

“I hope that the agreement will be a comprehensive one and will include the Greek debt issue, which is an importart prerequisite for the IMF. The climate is positive and the Commission will do its best for a positive and ambitious compromise,” he underlined.

Referring to his optimism over the course of the Greek economy he said he believed that a Grexit should not have happened and it did not. “Now, I am optimistic that we will move to the next step with a successful completion of the review and a comprehensive agreement that will lead Greece, at last, to the road for compact and sustainable growth. This is what the Greek people expects, what it needs and what it deserves,” Moscovici said, adding that as soon as Greek authorities “take on their responsibilities and the part of efforts they deserve”, its partners must act “with great responsibility” and underlined the need for “solidarity”.

“There is a direct relation between the way the program is executed and the confidence of economic community and investments,” Moscovici said. He said that the European Commission’s estimates have been changed because of some delays in completing the second review, “therefore we expect a slightly lower economic growth in 2017. But if we achieve now we will have a rapid increase”. Moscovici said his message was “clear” and “political”: “Let’s complete the review, let’s have an ambitious agreement as much as possible and then growth will return to Greece”.

“It is time for an ambitious agreement,” the Commissioner said.