NEWS

Athens to seek growth package at Eurogroup

TAGS: Politics, Economy

Ahead of yet another crucial Eurogroup on June 15, the government has its mind set on seeking a package of growth-inducing measures which it hopes may, finally, pry open the door that will ultimately put Greece on the road to recovery. 

Athens believes that securing such a package could work to bridge the difference between the country’s European Union partners, and lead to an agreement which could pave the way for Greece to access international markets.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos outlined three basic principles that should govern any proposal that comes Greece’s way at the meeting of the eurozone finance ministers.

Firstly, he insisted that the proposal must specify, in the clearest possible way, what midterm debt relief measures Greece should expect.

Secondly, these measures should also allow all the institutions, including the European Central Bank, to proceed with positive sustainability studies of the Greek debt.

Finally, he said, a proposal must include specific measures that will boost growth.

The government reckons that a growth-oriented agreement will prompt the International Monetary Fund to positively revise its projections on the Greek economy, reduce its demands with regard to the Greek program, and open the way for an agreement.

Athens believes the formula that is being promoted to get the Washington-based organization to join the Greek bailout will stipulate that it will not have to provide immediate funding.

Instead, the IMF’s contribution will be placed in a fund of sorts, which will be made available at a later date, on the condition that the midterm debt relief measures are implemented.

Government sources say Athens could go along with such a proposal, as long it is accompanied by a growth package.

Moreover, and according to the same sources, the government believes that the aforementioned framework would also provide enough reassurances for the ECB to open the way for Greece’s inclusion in the quantitative easing (QE) mechanism which would allow it borrow on international markets.

Sources also said the idea of a growth package for Greece was also discussed at the previous Eurogroup, and that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble appeared positive about the prospect.

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