Commission’s Costello praises, cautions Athens amid ongoing negotiations to conclude third bailout

6 December 2017
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The term “clean exit” may not be the most appropriate or useful for the period after the ongoing third Greek bailout ends in August 2018, Declan Costello, the European Commission’s chief representative in the program told an Athens audience on Monday evening.

Speaking at a conference organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, he again echoed creditors’ demand that all agreed to “prior actions” be implemented in order to conclude the third review of the Greek program – with an unofficial deadline being a Eurogroup meeting on Jan. 22.

Costello cited a figure of 110 “prior actions”, called “key deliverables” by the Commission, of which one-third have already been implemented. He also expressed satisfaction over the Greek state’s latest forays into sovereign capital markets.

In a rare expression of praise, the Irish technocrat said the ongoing period marks the first time a Greek government has fulfilled memorandum-mandated obligations on time.
Finally, he said high primary budget surplus targets are realistic, although high growth rates are also necessary.

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