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Dijsselbloem tells Greece to wrap up review quickly for a “clean” bailout exit

Greece must wrap up an upcoming bailout review quickly to pave the way for a “clean” bailout exit next summer without further conditions beyond standard monitoring, Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said during a visit to Athens on Monday.

“We are in full agreement for that – it should be a clean exit, Greece should become financially independent again and be able take its own political decisions for the future within the family of the Eurogroup,” Dijsselbloem said.

“There are no further conditions at the end of the programme, no further restrictions,” he said after meeting Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

Once Greece exits the bailout, it would be monitored by the European Stability Mechanism, a “standard procedure” in place for other member states which also emerged from bailouts, he said.

But Dijsselbloem cautioned that Greece was not yet out of the woods, and would need more reforms in the coming years. The eurozone would look into granting it further debt relief.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Statements after good talks with Finance minister Tsakalotos: last phase of Greek program &amp; there should be a clean exit. <a href=”https://t.co/ITXk5AXAZo”>pic.twitter.com/ITXk5AXAZo</a></p>&mdash; Jeroen Dijsselbloem (@J_Dijsselbloem) <a href=”https://twitter.com/J_Dijsselbloem/status/912329262371344384″>September 25, 2017</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Good talk w/ prime minister <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tsipras?src=hash”>#Tsipras</a> on Greece program.<br>Joint interest to finish program succesfully so Greece can get on its own feet again <a href=”https://t.co/c7ENeSCfe7″>pic.twitter.com/c7ENeSCfe7</a></p>&mdash; Jeroen Dijsselbloem (@J_Dijsselbloem) <a href=”https://twitter.com/J_Dijsselbloem/status/912289544753598465″>September 25, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Dijsselbloem last visited Athens end January in 2015, when the Greek government clashed with its foreign creditors over the terms of its bailout and teetered on the verge of financial collapse.

Greece was now “coming back on track”, Dijsselbloem said on Monday, and called on both Athens and its foreign creditors to work towards ensuring the country can stand on its feet.

“The end of the programme is the beginning of a new phase and we should do whatever we can… to make sure that Greece is fully prepared for financial independence,” Dijsselbloem said.

But for talks to begin on how Greece can exit its bailout, Athens must conclude a third review of progress made under its programme by the end of this year, he said.

Recalling the negotiations in the first sxi months of 2015, Dijsselbloem told Skai TV

“I think in the summer of 2015, when there was a real threat for Greece to leave the Eurozone. My job as head of the Eurogroup was to keep the eurozone solid and intact. I believe this was crucial for the future of Greece and the future of the Eurozone.”

He refused to give details about the famous incident during a joint press conference with then finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during his Jan 2015.

“I will write down in my book, what I told Varoufakis,” he said.

Dijsselbloem’s term as head of the Eurogroup expires in January 2018.

sources: euractive.com   and others

PS As if it was up to Greece to wrap up the third review quickly….

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