Eurogroup meeting: extracts from the press conference
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council/Justus Lipsius
End production: 12/11/2012 First transmission: 12/11/2012
Meeting tonight in Brussels, the Finance Ministers from the 17 euro countries discussed whether Greece should be given extra time to cut its debt to a sustainable level of 120 per cent of its gross domestic product beyond the original deadline of 2020.
At the press conference following the meeting, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup and Prime Minister of Luxembourg, said that "no definitive decision" to release the next tranche of emergency loans emerged from today's discussions, although all Member States recognized Athens's reform efforts to reduce its debts to a manageable level.
Talks followed a report on the country's reform efforts by the troika of international lenders, composed of the IMF, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission, which shows that Greece has made impressive efforts to implement the needed reforms, Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, told journalists. The basis is positive, because the Greeks have really delivered, he said.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup, saying that the Eurogroup noted with satisfaction that Greece has developed and committed to implement new instruments before the next disbursement. The revised fiscal targets as requested by the Greek government would be an appropriate adjustment for the further path of fiscal consolidation in view of recent economic developments. The Eurogroup calls on Greek authorities to implement the few remaining prior actions as a matter of urgency so to allow for a swift conclusion of the review. The Eurogroup will further discuss financing needs at an extraordinary meeting that will be convened on November 20th.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Christine Lagarde, IMF President, saying that the IMF strongly welcomes the parliamentary approval on November 7th and 11th. November 11th was an 800-pages budget law that clearly needs to be reviewed a little bit to make sure that all prior actions contained in that budget law are actually taken. There will be only a few additional prior actions to be verified in the coming days, to make sure that the entire list of prior actions is completed.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olli REHN, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, saying that Greece has already improved its structural balance by no less than 13% of GDP since 2010. This margin will increase further with the implementation of the additional measures foreseen for 2013 and 2014. Saying also that he hopes that all those who openly dismiss the potential of this (Greek) programme to restore fiscal sustainability by Greece will dwell on these important figures. Regarding structural reforms, it is time to disband the perception that no progress has been made. This perception is damaging, unfair and is simply wrong.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Klaus Regling, ESM Managing Director, saying that, during the past few weeks, the ESM has spoken to investors in Asian and European financial markets. It will continue to do so in the US and in the Middle East in the coming weeks. The feedback so far is very positive. Saying also that the ESM has not been issuing any bonds so far because no country has requested financial assistance up to now.