Upon concluding the review of the Greek programme, Greece’s partners must also live up to their end of the bargain, both in terms of debt relief and in the way the European Central Bank approached Greek bonds and the Greek banking system, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Tuesday.
“After the conclusion of the review, which must finish as soon as possible so that we can exploit the first signs of growth that are now visible, there must be a fulfillment of obligations by our partners,” he said, after his meeting with ECB President Mario Draghi in Frankfurt.
Greece would do its part in order to comply with everything agreed in the framework of the third programme, he noted, but after the conclusion of the review, its partners would also have to fulfill their obligations.
He clarified that this meant restructuring the country’s debt, not through a haircut but in accordance with European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rules, and changing the ECB’s approach to Greek bonds and the Greek banking system so there was a return to normality and the situation that existed prior to the imposition of capital controls in Greece.
“The rule ‘Pacta sunt servanda’ does not apply only to Greece but also to its partners…we must finish as soon as possible with capital controls, which are a brake on the smooth progress of our banking and economic system,” he noted.
The Greek president praised the ECB’s role in the Euro zone debt crisis, saying the central bank had risen to the occasion in a manner fitting to European institutions and the rules of solidarity that suit European culture.
Pavlopoulos said his visit to the ECB intended to express the importance that Greece attaches to the organisation, which he called one of the foremost institutions of the EU and the Euro zone in terms of its economic and banking system.
“On behalf of the Greek government, as well as all the democratic forces that support the country’s European course, I expressed support for continuing the effort to finally make the ECB a real central bank and to give it all the capabilities that will allow it to more easily and effectively confront the major crises that exist and which are not going to end,” he said.
Conditions throughout 2016 will continue to be difficult, even more so due to the refugee crisis and the ECB will play a significant role in the effort Draghi is making in this direction, the Greek president added.
Bank of Greece governor Yannis Stournaras, who attended the meeting, said the Greek economy had made “significant progress on which we must build.” He urged all sides to focus on the positives and conclude the review “so that we can have all the benefits that will arise afterward.”