Greek bailout was long and hard, ex-Eurogroup chief says


The Greek economic rescue program was “very hard, with many failures,” the former head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told Euronews in an interview.

“Some people call the exit of Greece a great success and the program a success and I don't think you can say that,” Dijsselbloem told Euronews correspondent Damon Embling in Brussels on Friday. “It was very long, very hard, with many failures.”

“It actually made me very angry to think of the consequences for let's say the normal Greek people, who were in a very hard situation,” he said when asked about the impact of nearly a decade of austerity on the local population.

The Dutch former official also said he regrets a comment made in 2017 – saying “you can't spend all the money on drinks and women and then ask for help” – which sparked widespread anger as it was seen as unfair and prejudiced against Greece and other bailed-out countries of Europe's south.

“I would have re-phrased it if I had had the opportunity again,”  Dijsselbloem said. “I think the key remark I made was that you cannot have a community and the eurozone is a community, if you just want the solidarity, but not the responsibility.”