EU’s Moscovici sees no new ‘drama’ in Greece crisis
Arriving for a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he was confident that there will be no “new drama” involving Greece but stressed that it must fulfill the the commitments made to its creditors by adopting the required reforms and prior actions.
“I am confident there is a common will to avoid a new drama, a new tragedy with Greece but at the same time we must also be vigilant. As I said, the Commission is here to help Greece, but we are also here to recall that commitments have to be fulfilled, that milestones have to accomplished, that sets of prior actions need to be voted and that the key word for Greece, as always – and this requires to have a strong administration with a strong political will – is implementation,” he said.
Replying to questions, Moscovici said he had high confidence that the new Greek government under Alexis Tsipras would do just that, since it was “now very aware that there is no other alternative” to fulfilling the commitments required by the European Union in order to benefit from the 86-billion-euro programme, and the huge funds available for investment and bank recapitalisation.
“So it’s our common interest to succeed. I welcome the commitments taken again by Mr. Tsipras last week, [his] firm intention to do what is necessary in order to fulfill these commitments. And it is exactly in the same spirit that we will welcome again Euclid Tsakalotos, the Greek minister of finance. He is the man who showed his willingness to negotiate first, then to conclude the necessary arrangements in order to have a strong programme that will benefit the Eurozone, which will have Greece within its own field, but also Greece and mostly for Greece, which needs to recover growth and stability through this programme too,” he added.
Asked if there might be greater fiscal flexibility due to the refugee crisis, Moscovici said that this issue will not be discussed at the Eurogroup but noted that the Stability and Growth Pact made provision for relaxing fiscal discipline during “exceptional circumstances” and that the Commission was examining whether the refugee crisis could be considered such an “exceptional circumstance”.
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