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In interview with Kathimerini, Eurogroup chief calls on Greece to stick to reforms

TAGS: Economy, EU, Diplomacy

In an exclusive interview with Kathimerini, Eurogroup Chairman Mario Centeno called on Greece to stick to economic reforms and avoid sliding back to policies that will not help the country emerge from the economic crisis. 

"Greece needs to take full ownership of the reform progress," Centeno said. 

As for the International Monetary Fund, which has yet to determine whether it will contribute financially to Greece's third bailout, Centeno said that its support would be "helpful." The IMF has supported Greece since 2010, he said, so its continued backing would be useful in terms of signalling Greece's credibility and securing the trust of markets. 

Asked whether the next government will be constrained by a growth plan drafted by the current leftist-led administration, Centeno said there were several potential approaches but that it was important to have clear goals and policies.

However he said he would like to see broad support for the growth plan which could boost Greece's credibility. 

As for what Greece should expect from a Eurogroup meeting scheduled for May 24, Centeno said it will be an important step towards agreeing on measures to lighten the country's debt, adding that a successful exit from the program is a precondition for further debt relief. 

Questioned about the prospect of tighter supervision of Greece in the post-bailout era, the Eurogroup chief noted that commitments have been made over the course of the program but emphasized that the onus for their enforcement will be strictly on Greek authorities. That will be the big difference from the bailout era, he said. 

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