Centeno says precautionary credit line is up to the Greek authorities

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (unseen) welcomes President of the Eurogroup, Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, 22 January 2017.

Centeno says precautionary credit line is up to the Greek authorities


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Ahead of his first meeting as the new Eurogroup chair on Monday, Portugal’s Mário Centeno took talks on Greece’s post-bailout future off Monday’s agenda.

During his doorstep comments, Centeno said that he is looking forward to chairing his first Eurogroup meeting, assessing the agenda of his two-and-a-half-year mandate as “significant”. Topping his agenda will be Greece, to which Centeno said he his waiting to “hear from ESM (European Stability Mechanism) on the issue.”

Centeno said disbursement of the first sub-tranche to Greece “will certainly follow…as it is the natural sequence of the program.”

Asked by reporters whether he is going to propose Athens to take a precautionary credit line after the August 2018 bailouts are over, Centeno explained that this decision “is up to the Greek authorities,” adding that “what’s most important for the Greek authorities is to have ownership of the programme.”

“Greece has adopted this year’s target,” said European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis in regards to Athens’ third bailout. He added that Greece has over-performed over the last three years, meaning the Council can decide on disbursement, said Dombrovskis. The Council can then start discussing the post-program situation.

The priorities for Dombrvskis in the eurozone remain the completion of a banking union and a non-performing loans strategy. Dombrovskis offered his best wishes Centeno and told reporters that they already had a series of meetings to set European Monetary Union priorities.

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