Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Greece gets first green light to extend the bailout plan – The World

Greece gets first green light to extend the bailout plan – The World

The key

  • The Eurogroup has validated the list of reforms presented in Monday night by the Greek authorities. However, it calls Athens to expand this list.
  • The IMF and the ECB have given their approval to the roadmap, while expressing some reservations.
  • The national ratifications on continuation of the program of assistance to Greece for the next four months can begin. Berlin will vote Friday.

The nineteen ministers of the eurozone finance agreed in principle Tuesday, February 24 on the list of reforms sent by the first Greek Minister Alexis Tsipras. It was considered “sufficiently complete to be a starting point” by European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.

This new step taken does not mean that the party is won for Athens, far from it. The extension of the Greek program for the next four months will ultimately effect until the individual agreement nineteen governments in the euro zone, some of which have to put to the vote in Parliament this decision. This is particularly the case in Germany, where the vote on this issue will take place on Friday morning.

votes that should still be the subject of muscular debates. This green light “does not mean we agree with these reforms. We agree with the approach “, commented the Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, just after the Eurogroup meeting. “We have avoided a crisis, but there are still many challenges ahead” , has he said.


The Eurogroup has called in a statement the Greek authorities to ” develop and expand the list of reforms on the basis of this Agreement, in close cooperation with the institutions to enable a rapid and successful conclusion of the review. “” The Greek government is very serious in its commitment to reforms “ and ” this is just a first step “ said for his part the president of the euro area, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Some reservation also been issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which regretted the lack of “clear assurance” from Athens ensuring that it will well implement the reforms presented.

In unison, the European Central Bank (ECB), also of Athens creditor, said that the Greek proposals are ” a valid starting point “. However, “commitments designed by the authorities [Greek] differ from existing commitments of the program in a number of areas,” said Mario Draghi, the ECB president.

The IMF and the ECB, however, gave the morning a first endorsed the road map submitted by Athens.


After several tense meetings with its eurozone partners, Athens had resigned himself to request an extension of the aid plan last week, under penalty of exposing the country to financial asphyxiation. The Greek government also sent a list of reforms he was planning to adopt, as demanded by the Eurogroup as a condition for the extension of the assistance plan.

Read also: In Greece, already divided compromise with Brussels

This list was sent by the government Alexis Tsipras Monday shortly before midnight. In six dense pages, the famous “list” takes a large part of Brussels requirements. Most reforms were in fact already on the document prepared by the “troika” of creditors – must now say “institutions” to spare the Greek susceptibility -., Which imposed a strict policy of rigor in the country since 2010

Read: The list of reforms conceded by Athens to Brussels

Most of the list to the fight against tax evasion and fraud, intended to address the main problems of the Greek administration (corruption, poor tax). These reforms demanded by the troika since 2010, but no government or the socialist PASOK nor the conservative New Democracy (ND), has so far had the political courage to implement them.


But Athens has also put a lot of water in their wine, including a commitment to renounce cancel privatizations already completed. On raising the minimum wage, another iconic campaign promise of Syriza, Greece confirms neither the calendar (2016), nor the amount (751 euros) previously envisaged, and refers to consultation with the social partners and the European institutions and international.

To cope with the “humanitarian crisis” crossing the country, the Greek Government refers to measures “highly targeted” to improving coverage, energy supply and access to food and housing for the poorest

See also our visual interactive. Six years of Greek tragedy

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the balancing act behind the blow to the high wire. “We must not rush us into the trap of the enemy, it is necessary to operate the bypass maneuvers” , is it justified Tuesday.

Read also: In Greece, already divided compromise with Brussels


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