European Central Bank (ECB) official Joerg Asmussen, speaking after meeting Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras yesterday praised the efforts and sacrifices of the Greek government and the Greek people, AMNA writes.
Asmussen said there are already results that show the Greek economy has stabilised, while the Greek banking system is now recapitalised. He spoke of a painful effort and expressed his respect for the efforts of the Greek people.
He also said that the reforms must be continued and he placed emphasis on efforts to fight unemployment, particularly among young people, and to achieve growth rates.
Asked about a possible new “haircut” for the Greek debt, as well as the possibility of a new fiscal programme for Greece, he referred to the decision taken by the Eurogroup last November, which stated explicitly that if a primary surplus is achieved, measures would be examined for further debt reduction. He added that whatever discussions would not begin before the spring of 2014, when the data on the Greek economy for 2013 comes in.
According to Kathimerini, the government is reportedly planning to use European Union structural funds to cover part of any fiscal shortfall and new financing of EUR 4 billion for the 2015-16 period in a bid to avoid the adoption of new revenue-collecting measures.
The troika is due to conduct an important assessment of Greece’s progress in September. So far, it has been agreed that the EU will provide 95% of investment subsidies for the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for the 2007-13 period, and official announcements are expected in the next few days. The Finance Ministry is proposing that this rate be maintained in the new NSRF for the 2014-20 period. In this way, the government will be able to meet any financing shortfalls thanks to its lower contributions to NSRF investments. Sources told the paper that the response of EU departments so far has not been negative.