Greece will fulfill all the obligations that derive from the second program review but the institutions must also speed up the process of debt relief, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos told EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici, during a meeting in Athens on Monday.
“Greece will do its part in order to meet its obligations and conclude the current program review as soon as possible, which is in the interests of Greece and the Eurozone. But there is a need for our partners to move ahead with the arrangements on debt relief, always in accordance with the rules of the European Stability Mechanism,” Pavlopoulos told the EU official who is on a one-day visit to Greece.
“Nobody is talking about debt haircut. But we are talking about methods which are compatible with European law and
in particular the law underlying the European Stability Mechanism. Our partners must comply with that,” he added, noting they must take into account the particularity of the Greek debt.
Thanking the president for the meeting, Moscovici acknowledged the significant progress achieved in the last five years adding that the first program review ended in time and the second is in a good path.
He said reforms are the only way towards success and assured that if Greek authorities do their part, it is certain their European partners will keep their part of the deal.
“So I want to tell all Greeks that the time has come to discuss the debt issue. It is something I will also have the opportunity to mention at the Eurogroup next week. I want to say that we most certainly should discuss the restructuring of Greek debt through short- and medium-term measures,” he said.
Concerning the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the Greek program, he said it will add to the program’s credibility. “However, I believe the IMF must have in mind the particular sensitivities that exist on some issues. For example, as you mentioned Mr. President, the issue of social dialog. It is very important to adopt these sensitivities that will allow social dialog to maintain the measures of the European acquis,” he said.
Moscovici also said all sides have to find a compromise “and I think we’re smart enough to find it all together.
This is why I came to Greece to offer my support and my reassurance that next week at the Eurogroup we will discuss all these issues and within the next month we will discuss all the parameters for the Greek debt.”
The Commissioner also said the EU takes into consideration Greece’s geostrategic role.
“We know very well what is the burden carried by Greece because of the particularity of its location. We know well what the particular character of Greece’s borders and we know how your relations with your powerful neighbor, Turkey, are often difficult. We know all this and we also know the burden suffered by the Greek economy by the reception of refugees. I want to assure you that we will take all this into serious consideration during talks on the restructuring of Greek debt,” he added.