Eurogroup wants to keep greece on savings course

Eurogroup wants to keep greece on savings course

"It is becoming more and more difficult politically to move forward with further measures," eurogroup head jeroen dijsselbloem said, referring to the severe social tensions in the country. "Greece must take further steps to strengthen its competitiveness."

The control troika of the EU commission, the international monetary fund (IMF) and the european central bank (ECB) announced over the weekend that they would not return to athens until january. EU commissioner for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, olli rehn, said in brussels on monday that the heads of mission of the three institutions should resume their work in athens as early as this wednesday. As much work as possible should be done in december. The complete troika will then work from january onwards. Their report should then be completed in january. "The work is not yet done," said dijsselbloem.

The representatives of the donors have not yet given the green light for the 2014 budget – already approved by parliament – and the next tranche of aid in the amount of one billion euros. Among other things, the troika is calling for further privatization in the rustic industry. Athens does not need fresh aid money until the end of january. The country’s economic situation is desolate: greece is battling record unemployment and getting deeper and deeper into crippling deflation, according to data released monday by statistics agency elstat.

The current federal finance minister wolfgang schauble (CDU) also said that there were "open points with the troika". He added: "but overall greece is on a good path."The problems are manageable.

Dijsselbloem confirmed that in the margins of the meeting there were small consultations on the banking union. The dutchman did not comment on details. The planned common rules for the rescue and restructuring of ailing banks are hotly disputed. Already on friday there had been a meeting about this in the berlin finance ministry, which diplomats described as useful.

Schauble also did not attend the brussel extra meetings. The dispute over the banking union was on the agenda of all 28 EU treasurers for this tuesday. On some points, such as the legal basis for the system, there have been, according to diplomats, some assumptions. However, tough negotiations were still expected, which could drag on into the following week.

Former crisis country ireland is soon to receive its final payment of 1.4 billion euros from the aid program of international lenders. "We are confident that ireland will be able to stand on its own two feet from next year," dijsselbloem summed up. Rehn said: "this is a strong signal that the joint response to the crisis is delivering results."The fin added that the green island will continue to be monitored by his agency after the end of the program. In 2010, ireland slipped under the euro bailout umbrella, mainly because of a floundering bank, and received loan commitments of 85 billion euros from its lenders.

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