Eurogroup will consider further debt relief for Greece after program, says Regling

The finance ministers of the Eurozone have stated they will consider further debt relief for Greece when the country completes its adjustment program this summer, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling said on Wednesday.

“The euro area countries have promised to continue to stand by Greece’s side, if this is necessary and the country remains on the course of reform. The euro finance ministers have raised the prospect of considering further debt relief at the end of a successful completion of the program,” he said in a speech at the financial market meeting of the CDU’s Economic Council in Berlin.

He said this could involve additional EFSF maturity extensions or the transfer of profits made from the purchasing of Greek bonds on the secondary market by the central bank, noting that an additional haircut “will certainly not be necessary”.

Regling reiterated his view that if Greece sticks to its commitments, it could become ESM’s “fifth success story” and return to growth, adding the country is making good progress in implementing the reforms that it committed to in 2015 as part of its current program.

“The reform efforts of the Greeks – in terms of salary and pension cuts or the reduction of employees in the public sector, for example – are not always appreciated enough in Germany,” he said.