Moscovici-Tsakalotos See Improvement in Reforms, Discuss ‘Red Phone’ on Crisis Management



epa05154435 Spanish Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos (L) and Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (R) talk during a Eurogroup Finance ministers meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 11 February 2016. The Eurogroup meeting's agenda is reported to be topped by the Portuguese draft budget, the Greek programme and general economic issues in the eurozone. EPA/LAURENT DUBRULE

The need to implement quickly the prior actions attached to the unlocking of the 2.8-bilion-euro aid installment for Greece and starting the second program review was discussed in a meeting between EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos in Brussels on Monday, the first meeting since July that was also attended by Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis and Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis.

European sources referred to the meeting as a chance for both sides to “clear the air” concerning prior actions from the first bailout program review that are turning out to be tougher than initially expected. The EC is concerned about the lack of progress in the creation of a supervisory board for the privatization fund. Nor has there been desired progress on a series of energy-related reforms.

During the meeting the need to complete the prior actions was discussed so as to pave the way for debt relief. Following this, the two men did agree to set up a “red phone” for crisis management that would open the lines of direct communication between Athens and Brussels in an effort to resolve pending issues. Finally, both sides said that there needs to be a pinpointing of all measures concerned with debt restructuring by the end of the year so that markets could have a clear message on the sustainability of Greek debt.

There was no discussion on the EC’s intervention on the prosecution of former ELSTAT chief Andreas Georgiou, however, this issue may be discussed at the EuroWorking Group on Tuesday.


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