Moscovici meeting Tsipras to push for completion of key reforms

Moscovici meeting Tsipras to push for completion of key reforms

EU Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici is meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Thursday morning to discuss the results of the Commission report which showed Greece has fallen behind in reforms required to receive almost 1 billion euros in aid.

Speaking to state-run news agency ANA-MPA after the publishing of the Commission’s report on Wednesday and before his visit to Athens, he said the key reforms that have to be addressed are the government’s plan to protect the primary residences of distressed mortgage holders and the divestment of Greek public power utility PPC’s lignite units.

“It is not a very simple dossier, I discuss it often with the Greek authorities and the prime minister,” Moscovici was quoted as telling ANA-MPA, referring to PPC.

Concerning the mortgage holders, he said the new legislation that will replace the so-called Katseli law should protect vulnerable groups, but should not be taken advantage by strategic defaulters.

It should also support the efforts of Greece’s lenders to reduce their bad loans and improve their capital base so that they can start lending to support growth and job creation, he added.

Moscovici said the most recent government proposal “looks much better than the previous one,", but improvements need to be made.

Asked whether he believed Greece and its creditors are close to a deal on these two key issues ahead of the crucial Eurogroup on March 11, he told ANA-MPA:

“I hope it will be done, not only because it will open the way for the disbursement of close to 1 billion euros, which is significant, but also because it will send an important signal to the markets that Greece remains on track with its reform commitments, which is vital to support confidence and investments."

Eurozone finance ministers will decide whether Athens has met the criteria for the next round of debt relief.

Moscovici's meeting with Tsipras will start at 9:30 a.m. The Commissioner will also speak at the Parliament’s european affairs, national defence and foreign affairs and financial affairs committees.

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