European Commission mission chief Declan Costello has urged the Greek government not to use terms like “clean exit” when describing the end of the bailout program, saying that Athens has to pass all prior actions fast so that an agreement can be reached at the Eurogroup on January 22 to proceed to the final phase of the memorandum.
“Now we want to see action,” Costello told the Greek Economy 2017 conference at the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in Athens on Monday, adding that given how Greece has kept up with deadlines it is realistic to believe that the bailout may be wrapped up within 2018, if political consensus is achieved in January.
“Terms like ‘clean exit’ are not appropriate expressions,” Costello said, referring to the “end of the memorandum era” touted by the leftist-led government.
The Irish economist stressed that is important for electronic foreclosures to continue at a steady pace, as they are instrumental in helping banks clear their massive stock of nonperforming loans.
Despite optimistic signs that Greece will be able to borrow on international markets next year, Cotsello warns of “many deeply rooted problems” that will persist after 2018, pointing in particular to NPLs.
He went on to stress the need for a “framework for the next phase” so that reforms can continue in a sustainable manner.
On the issue of debt relief, Costello said this will be addressed after the fourth and final review, regarding the 82 pending prior actions, and the end of the third memorandum.