European Commission not concerned about Greek program implementation


The EU executive said on Friday it was not concerned about Greece failing to implement reforms it agreed in return for a bailout after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned to prepare for new elections.

"We are not concerned about programme implementation," a European Commission spokeswoman said. "Reforms have been decided by the Greek government and voted on by the parliament … Regardless of elections, reforms can now be implemented."

The spokeswoman, Annika Breidthardt, told reporters that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had expected the move to elections, having been in close contact with both Tsipras and the Greek head of state. She declined to be more precise on when Juncker had known about Tsipras's intentions.

"The Commission respects the decision of Prime Minister Tsipras to go to the polls swiftly," Breidthardt said. "For us, this was not a surprise … The Commission considers it important that there is full backing for the stability support programme just signed by Greece. Most opposition parties voted in favour of it in the Greek parliament last Friday.

"The next wave of major reforms is expected for October and obviously we will monitor implementation very closely."

Under the terms of the bailout agreement, known as the Memorandum of Understanding, Greece is committed to passing substantial pieces of legislation by the end of October.