Greece has implemented a “huge, unprecedented” reform programme, Costello says

Greece has implemented a “huge, unprecedented” reform programme, the head of the European Commission delegation in the Greek programme, Declan Costello, said on Wednesday at the Economist conference in Frankfurt.

He said that about 120 of the 140 prior actions of this programme review have already been met, adding that the remaining ones are expected to be completed in the next 10 days so that Greece receives the next loan tranche.

Therefore, he stressed that Greece is no longer facing a fiscal problem, adding that the Commission estimates that there is no need to take any further measures and that priority is now given “to help Greece regain access to the markets.”

However, he pointed out that the benefits from the implementation of the agreed reforms will be visible in the coming period.

On his part, the governor of the Bank of Greece, Yannis Stournaras, who participated in the panel, stressed that the debt can be reduced more effectively through privatisations than through high primary surpluses that have “social cost.”

With regard to debt, the representative of the European Stability Mechanism Nicola Giamarolli stressed that Greece already received a significant debt relief in 2012 through the PSI. Giamarolli added that the lending conditions from the ESM are very favourable, and short-term debt measures are already in place, while there is also some clarity about medium-term measures.

“Greece’s partners are committed to providing support in the long-term. This is proved by previous debt relief efforts and the possible future ones,” he stated.