Eurogroup Approves Staff-Level Agreement for Greece

    Eurozone finance ministers have approved the staff-level agreement (SLA) for the third review of the Greek programme on Monday.

    The SLA was agreed upon by Greek authorities and the institutions’ missions in Athens on Saturday.

    Outgoing Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem expressed his satisfaction that a staff-level agreement on Greece had been achieved promptly, in a doorstep statement as he arrived for the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Monday.

    “It is excellent we have an agreement on time,” commented Dijsselbloem, adding that Eurozone finance ministers will now discuss the next steps, the prior actions that must be implemented and the decision-making process going forward, which will include ratification by national parliaments and the European Stability Mechanism.

    He also clarified that the size of the next installment of loans to Greece will not be discussed on Monday: “It is something that will be decided later,” he said.

    There is wide consensus that Greece is turning the page, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said in Brussels late on Monday, following the approval of the SLA.

    “It was a very good meeting for Greece during the first session of today’s Eurogroup, because all institutions made very positive comments for the fast approval of the SLA with the institutions,” Tsakalotos said about Greece and its lenders.

    “It was also a very good meeting because Klaus Regling, the head of the European Stability Mechanism, announced the results of the short-term measures for the debt and stated clearly that it was an improvement on expectations, as the reduction of the debt by 2060 will have reached 25 pct of the debt-to-GDP ratio, instead of the 20 pct assessed originally,” he noted.

    Earlier, Regling had released a statement saying that the short-term debt relief measures for Greece over the course of 2017 have been successfully implemented.

    (Source: AMNA)