French finance minister Michel Sapin (L) and European commissioner in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici (R) during Eurogroup finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium. EPA, OLIVIER HOSLET
BRUSSELS (ANA/ M. Spinthourakis) Greece has achieved remarkable results and “we are not very far from achieving the goal,” European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici commented on Thursday, in a press conference after Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels. He expressed confidence that a swift resumption of talks on completing the second review was possible if everyone puts in “their best effort”.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, though more cautious in his assessment, said that the Greek economy was recovering more quickly than expected, with Greece set to surpass fiscal targets in 2016. “We encourage them to continue in this way and implement reforms,” he said.
Dijsselbloem said the Greek economy had entered a path of growth and fiscal reform and that there was a “joint interest” in rapidly completing negotiations to conclude the second review of the Greek programme.
Moscovici said the discussion at the Eurogroup had been good and that he was “more optimistic” about concluding the review. Only two or three points were still outstanding, he said, while the Council considered that a mechanism to ensure Greece’s fiscal stability was necessary.
“Nobody wants a return to the past,” the Commissioner added, expressing hope that the institutions will soon be back in Athens if all sides do what must be done.
European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director Klaus Regling referred to the short- and medium-term measures adopted to relieve Greece’s debt burden.