Rehn concerned about Greek reforms but Regling upbeat on progress

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has suggested that the Greek government’s momentum for reform is waning.

In an interview with Sunday’s edition of Die Welt, Rehn said that the slowing pace of reforms was the main reason that the latest troika review of the Greek program has not been completed.

“Greece has done a lot regarding fiscal consolidation and structural reform,” he said. “But we want to encourage Greece to do more. Stronger and more sustainable growth would help the Greeks more.

“That is why we are insisting that the program’s terms on structural reforms are implemented. The ball is in the Greek court.”

The head of the European Stability Mechanism, Klaus Regling, appeared more upbeat on the pace of reforms in Greece.

Speaking to another German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, he defended the current Greek government’s record on structural changes.

“At the beginning, the Greeks did not do anything,” he said. “Since then, though, they are doing more reforms than any of the other 36 OECD member states.”

Regling admitted that it would still take some time for Greeks to feel the benefits of these reforms.

“The labor market always improves at the end of such a process,” he said. “That is why I always look at competitiveness, which has improved significantly in Greece.”