Tsipras: The efforts of the Greek people allow a clean exit from the memorandum programme

The efforts of the Greek people allow a clean exit from the memorandum programme without any precautionary credit line, in the same way as the other EU member-states that successfully concluded financial assistance programmes, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday in a meeting with European Commission President Jean-claude Juncker.

Based on the economic policy of the last three years, Greece has exceeded its targets and has a robust fiscal momentum as well as a stable framework of recurrent fiscal outperformance, he underlined.

“With the decisive support and contribution of President Juncker and the Commission, we are close to finalising the outstanding debt relief measures, according to Eurogroup decisions,” Tsipras noted.

The far-right shift and the rise of populism threaten Europe, Tsipras said, while strengthening the social and democratic characteristics of the eurozone must be the first step towards reconnecting the European project with the peoples of Europe.

The EU has a future only if it upgrades its international and regional role as a force for peace, stability and security that defends international and European law. Greece has a central role in this endeavor, because this is the historical choice of the Greek people, the Greek prime minister added.

“The passport for what we call a clean exit from the programme is the overperformance of the Greek economy,” he said.

Commenting on the Greek economy’s overperformance, he added that the country no longer needs austerity measures but measures for growth. “Restoring normality means recovering our sovereignty in the eurozone, but it does not mean we are returning to the past,” the prime minister said.

He noted that reforms need to be deepened and that the country needs a path towards sustainable growth.

“Growth has returned to Greece. On August 20, it will be the end of the third and final programme for Greece,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday.

Juncker stressed that states should respect their debt relief obligations, while underlining that Greece’s performance is excellent.

“We are making an effort to make a clean exit. No precautionary line,” Juncker said.

We should conclude the final review of the programme soon and focus on debt relief, the EU Commission president added.

He expressed his satisfaction with the way in which “Greece is proceeding and meeting its commitments” and added: “Greece’s performance is exceptional. Also exceptional were the sacrifices demanded of the Greek people and we are now seeing the first results. Before the end of summer, Greece will become a country as normal as the rest of the eurozone countries.”