Eurogroup president Mario Centeno: Growth has returned to Greece

Mario Centeno, Portugal's Finance Minister and newly elected President of the Eurogroup, holds a news conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

“Growth has returned to Greece but this will be a long process. I am very confident that Greece will be able to achieve it. It is in the interest of the Greek society to achieve economic growth in a sustainable way,” Eurogroup president Mario Centeno said on Sunday in an interview with Kathimerini newspaper.

He underlined that Greece must take full ownership of the reforms as the long-term prospect of growth is of paramount importance. He called on all politicians in the country to understand that in order to enhance the potential for growth of the Greek economy, the momentum of reforms and growth should be ensured even when the political cycle changes.

The Eurogroup president stressed the importance of the May Eurogroup as it will be critical for an agreement on debt measures and added that a successful exit from the programme is a prerequisite for a further debt relief. According to Centeno, the fact that the 2017 primary surplus in Greece is 2.5 times higher than what was envisaged in the programme is quite reassuring for the commitments of the Greek authorities, and we are taking it into account.