Stournaras calls for swift conclusion of bailout review


Greece and its foreign lenders must intensify efforts to conclude swiftly a review of the country’s compliance with fiscal targets and reforms under its current bailout, the governor of Greece’s central bank said on Monday.

Inspectors from the country’s creditors, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, are expected in Athens next week to start talks on Greece’s bailout progress.

A fast conclusion will pave the way for a discussion on further debt relief, a long standing Greek demand, which in turn will allow Greek bonds to be included in the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program, central bank governor Yannis Stournaras said.

“It will mainly [allow] the country’s smooth return to markets after the end of the bailout,” Stournaras said.

He added that improved confidence and an increase in economic activity will then help speed up the return of deposits and allow to fully lift capital controls, imposed in 2015.

Greece made its first market foray in three years in July. Its current bailout program, worth 86 billion euros, ends in August 2018. It is the country’s third rescue package since 2010.

The leftist-led government has promised to emerge from bailout supervision next year. Its term ends a year later.

Greece hopes to conclude the bailout review by December.