Europe has to say no to additional measures that hamper growth in Greece, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised interview given jointly to the public broadcaster ERT and the private channel ANT1. He sent the message that “we must move away from Europe of austerity and assume our responsibilities, the future lies before us.” He underlined that Europe must continue helping Greece through investments and did not rule out that Greece may need another help in August 2018.
“The aim of my visit to Greece is to turn the page on the story of the last 10 years, to get out of the crisis. Greece is experiencing a recovery, it must continue its efforts to tackle unemployment and we must help Greece to recover, to complete the programme in order to return dynamically to growth,” noted Macron.
About Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Macron said that the Greek premier is implementing bold reforms and insisted that the reforms must continue: “I will not lie to you. Greece is not finished with reforms because the country is in a difficult condition”.
Macron said that he opposed the prospect of confronting Greece with additional demands and measures that hamper growth. On the issue of Greek debt relief and IMF’s role, he noted that “we can’t settle all issues at once, the discussions on the debt will resume in early 2018.”
“I want the fact that Greece continues the reforms to be highlighted and the IMF to remain in the programme, within the context of the last months’ decisions, and not to demand more and more things,” he added.
Macron said Greece’s trial return to the markets was ‘very positive” but noted that there is “still a long way to go until the confidence is established.”
Asked whether there might be a new aid program for Greece in August 2018 after the completion of the program, Macron replied:
“I think we are on the logic of ending the crisis. Of course, Greece may need such help, we have the technical tools in Europe to do that, we have the European Stability Mechanism. If we want a growth grid, we need to push forward the reforms to get investment.
Greece must implement reforms, and Europe, through a new solidarity, through investment, must continue to help it, as I do today. ”
Macron pointed out the need to restore confidence within the Eurozone and to strike a balance between responsibility and solidarity.
Asked about the attitude of Berlin and of German Chancellor Merkel, he replied that the talks are often difficult, but he expressed the conviction that in the end Germany would be together with France on the issue of restoring confidence.