July 16, 2018
Finance

Eurogroup sets June deadline for Greece, eurozone reform

The finishing touches for the end of Greece’s bailout program should be agreed and completed in 100 days’ time — by June 21 — eurozone finance ministers and the European Commission said on Monday.

Ministers also set a deadline for eurozone reform. Heads of state are expected to agree on a package of measures at the end of June outlining how best to overhaul the economic and monetary framework of the single currency bloc.

The Eurogroup of 19 eurozone finance ministers met Monday in Brussels, where they discussed preparations for next week’s Euro summit of EU leaders.

The two deadlines are tight. A whole host of measures need to be completed and prepared on both political and technical levels to make sure that the Greek bailout saga proves a success and the eurozone can survive the next financial crisis.

Athens still must complete 88 legislative tasks by June 21, as part of the final round of reform targets tied to the country’s €86 billion bailout program.

Meanwhile, Eurozone finance ministers will have to agree on medium-term debt relief measures for Greece that would take effect after the program ends in August. Ministers will, in addition, have to agree on long-term debt relief measures that would kick in if Greece falls short of its economic growth expectations.

A Greek post-surveillance program will also have to be agreed to make sure that Athens sticks to its reform commitments. Finally, Athens will have to supply finance ministers with a “growth strategy” in April.

On eurozone reform, leaders are now expected to approve the upgrade of the European Stability Mechanism into a European Monetary Fund at the end of June. The ESM should also function as a financial backstop for the EU’s authority for handling failing banks by the end of 2019, “if decisions are taken in June,” said ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling.

Original Article