Greece’s fiscal consolidation has been positive and strong and the country could return to the markets before the end of the current bailout program next year, European Stability Mechanism head, Klaus Regling, said in a speech at the Atlantic Council “EuroGrowth Initiative” event, held in Washington DC on Thursday.
“I am confident the country can return to the market and stand on its own feet again before the program ends next year. As long as it implements the reforms that it has promised, it can be Europe’s next success story,” he said.
Asked during a press conference after his speech whether Greek debt is sustainable, Regling said “it is not easy to answer” because it “depends on your assumptions.” He said based on the current lending arrangement, the last repayment from Greece to ESM will happen in 2060 and “a lot can happen by then.”
On the program review, he said the institutions are preparing May’s Eurogroup and they will do that in Washington DC, on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Regling also said the mission chiefs will return to Greece on Monday or Tuesday.
He also said Greece could repay IMF’s loans with the unused ESM funds allocated to the country, but noted decisions will not be taken before the end of the program.
Asked whether Greece’s bailout could become a success story, he responded: “If they continue with their reform program, it could be soon.”