ESM’s Jense: Greece must continue with reforms even after bailout ends

15 January 2018
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European Stability Mechanism (ESM) board member and funding chief Kalin Anev Janse on Friday reiterated that still bailout-dependent Greece would have to continue reforms even after it exits the current – and third consecutive – memorandum next August.

In an interview carried by Reuters, Janse emphasized that “… what is important is that they (Greece) continue down the reform path even after the ESM program ends later this year.”

He also said that currently low yield levels for Greek state bonds are “justifiable”.

“Some people may fear that this will not happen, but I believe Greece will want to keep that positive message going,” he was quoted as saying, while reminding that Greece is now one of the few eurozone members with an annual fiscal surplus, along with advanced liberal and pro-business countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

Conversely, the latest edition of Spiegel takes a more cautious view of current Greek developments, saying that although the country is headed for an exit from the bailout era, the leftist-rightist coalition government still lags behind in terms of implementing reforms.

“Greece is greatly delaying the implementation of reforms that it has promised. According to reports … out of the 110 ‘prior actions’, which the government of Alexis Tsipras has committed to (implementing), only 51 are being approved. This shows from the third review of the ongoing program, which has been developed by the Commission, the ECB and the IMF… the rest of the prior actions are pending; Greek authorities have not implemented them, such as ones dealing with tax reform,” the magazine article states.

Another German mass media outlet, on its part, pointed to a boom in Greece’s tourism sector, “despite the constant (economic) crisis…”

According to Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), 2018 bodes well for breaking a record for annual tourist arrivals, with the target being above 30 million.

“Primarily Germans are drawn to Greece… they are inspired by Greek antiquity and also what’s missing in Germany: sun, warm weather and the spectacular blue sea. Greece benefits from the tenuous situation in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia… as well as the fact that the alarming scenario of an exit from the eurozone and EU has permanent ended.”

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