Dombrovskis partnership agreement with Greece
The European Commission and Greece published a partnership agreement for technical cooperation to support the Greek reform process. The Commission will provide targeted technical support and expertise, through its Structural Reform Support Service, in areas such as combatting tax evasion and corruption, modernising the welfare system and creating a better business environment.
Speaking in Athens, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said: “It is crucial that there is political will and national ownership of reforms in Greece, and that they are carried out in dialogue with social partners. I am convinced that through the implementation of the reform programme, and effective use of the EU funds in support of investment, employment and social inclusion, Greece will return to financial stability, economic growth and jobs creation.”
Dombrovskis visit dampened the climate created by French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Athens on Thursday and Friday where a climate of hope had been cultivated. He pointed to open matters and insisted that there would be no recapitalizaiton of banks unless the review of Greek finances is completed so that a number of issues still on the table can be finalized by November 15 so that people’s deposits at Greek banks are protected. Facing the threat of haircuts to bank deposits, the Greek government is vulnerable to pressure on a number of issues, including the matter of so-called “red” non-performing loans.
Meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Dombrovskis appeared willing to compromise, stating that “there is no need to be dogmatic” and willing to find solutions via negotiations. While the European Commission may be willing to show flexibility regarding non-performing loans for the sake of burdened households, the same does not apply to the International Monetary Fund that is urging for either foreclosures to begin or for the loans to be transfered to foreign institutions.
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