Commission sends letter to Eurogroup chief calling Greek proposal ‘valid starting point’

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici (photo) on Tuesday sent the following letter to Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, on the Greek government’s reform proposals:

“The Commission services have carefully reviewed the Greek government’s reform proposals sent to you yesterday as President of the Eurogroup. This has been preceded by constructive exchanges over the week-end between the Greek authorities and representatives of the European Commission and the other institutions.

In the view of the Commission, this list is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review as called for by the Eurogroup at its last meeting.

We are encouraged by the commitment to combat tax evasion and corruption, inter alia through efforts to modernize tax and custom administrations, as well as to pursue reforms to modernize the public administration. The Commission also notes the commitments in the area of statistics and considers it of vital importance that the institutional and operational independence of ELSTAT and its senior management be respected at all times.

Further specification of the reforms in these and other key areas is expected to be provided and agreed before the end of April, in line with last week’s Eurogroup statement. The Commission looks forward to working with the new administration to elaborate what are at the moment still general commitments and transform these into clear policy actions.

The Commission underlines its willingness to continue to provide technical assistance in key areas to assist in the design and implementation of policies. As part of this process, the Commission underlines the importance of Greece fully respecting its commitment undertaken at the Eurogroup of 20 February 2015 to refrain from any roll back of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions.

Determined and swift implementation of reform commitments will be key for a successful conclusion of the review.”