ESM’s Klaus Regling Warns Greece Not to Backslide on Reforms



ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling warned the Greek government not to abandon its commitments in the post-bailout era saying that if Athens reneges, creditors may stop debt relief measures.

In an interview with Austrian Die Presse newspaper, Regling stressed that Greece needs to continue the reforms in order to become a success story.

Replying to the journalist’s question regarding what makes him optimistic that Greece will be successful, and that some ministers of Alexis Tsipras’s government want to roll back reforms, the ESM chief said:

“Greece needs to continue the reforms. We are a very patient creditor. But we can stop debt relief measures that have been decided for Greece if the adjustment programs are not continued as agreed.”

Regling added, “I am optimistic after my most recent conversations with Prime Minister Tsipras. The debt level appears to be frighteningly elevated. But Greece can live with that as the loan maturities are very long and the interest rates on the loans are much lower than in most other countries.”

On Saturday, Tsipras announced a raft of relief measures “to mend wounds” created during Greece’s prolonged economic crisis.

“Higher wages, labor market regulation and respect for labor rights…are a prerequisite for growth,” he told delegates attending the Thessaloniki International Fair where annual economic policy goals are traditionally laid out.