No let-up on Greek reforms because of migrants

4 November 2015
2 Views

Greece’s migrant crisis should not lead it to let up on reforms needed to comply with its multi-billion-euro bailout, European Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday.

More than 590,000 migrants and refugees have passed through Greece since the start of the year. On a visit to Athens, Moscovici was asked if allowances should be made for countries bearing the brunt of the flood of people.

“The Commission has but one compass, that of the growth and stability pact, and rules should be implemented,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.

“Concerning Greece, we have another compass, the adoption of the memorandum of understanding and the (reform) program. Nothing should make us loosen these reforms.”

The EU has offered to pay for accommodating 20,000 more migrants. Private groups have also pledged aid; the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for example, has promised to provide 12.7 million Swiss francs ($12.8 million) over the next seven months.

But Greece has already spent 1.5 billion euros on reception centers and staff to handle the migrants, a government source told Reuters. It needs 100 million euros for identification and relocation, the source said.

The costs come as the country is struggling to meet the terms of an 86 billion-euros bailout earlier this year. Greece’s international creditors have still not released all of a tranche totaling three billion euros out of an initial 26 billion-euro installment of the bailout.

It is being held up by a divergence of views between Athens and creditors on coming up with an effective mechanism for the country’s troubled banks – which will be receiving bailout aid – to address non-performing loans affecting thousands of mortgage holders.

“We agree we must protect the most vulnerable. But we also have to find a solution about those who go bankrupt to avoid their obligations,” Moscovici said, referring to strategic defaulters.

Greece wants to guard against foreclosure on primary residences by setting a higher threshold on property valuations.

Reuters

You may be interested

Thomsen: Greece, institutions are close to a staff-level agreement
FINANCE
shares46 views
FINANCE
shares46 views

Thomsen: Greece, institutions are close to a staff-level agreement

ilias1 - Apr 23, 2017

The Director of the International Monetary Fund's European Department, Poul Thomsen, expressed optimism on Friday that Greece and its lenders…

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to hold open leture in Geneva on April 24
WORLD
shares42 views
WORLD
shares42 views

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to hold open leture in Geneva on April 24

ilias1 - Apr 23, 2017

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will hold an open public lecture at the headquarters of the World Council of Churches in Geneva…

Basque NGO to leave Chios after municipality opposes plan for refugee clinic
POLITICS
shares52 views
POLITICS
shares52 views

Basque NGO to leave Chios after municipality opposes plan for refugee clinic

ilias1 - Apr 23, 2017

Basque NGO Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario (SMH) announced on Saturday it is ending all its activities on Chios and leaving the…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.