The eurozone’s top official said Monday that Greece and its European creditors are on a good path to completing the latest round of bailout talks, with a view to a “clean exit” from strict fiscal supervision.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the recession-battered country is regaining credibility, with a “very strong” fiscal performance in 2016 and 2017.
“A clean exit, and full exit in August of next year — that’s our common goal so that Greece is once again independent financially and sovereign in its decision-making,” Dijsselbloem said after meetings with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and top financial officials in Athens.
He renewed a European pledge to provide additional relief for repayment of Greeks staggering national debt that is nearly 180 percent of gross domestic product.
“At the beginning of next year, we will design a mechanism to make sure that more debt relief will come in place over time if needed and if the growth is disappointing.”
Greece’s once anti-bailout left-wing government has promised to speed up cost-cutting reforms in the next few months. And George Chouliarakis, the deputy finance minister, said the government planned to tap private bond markets “several times” before the end of the rescue program.
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