Eurogroup meeting: extracts from the press conference by Jeroen DIJSSELBLOEM, President of the Eurogroup, Olli REHN, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, and Klaus REGLING, ESM Managing Director
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 13/05/2013 First transmission: 13/05/2013
Meeting today in Brussels, the Finance Ministers of the euro area paved the way for Greece's next two bailout tranches, of € 4.2 billion in May and € 3.3 billion in June.
The European Stability Mechanism also approved on Monday the disbursal of the first part of Cyprus's first bailout instalment, to the tune of € 2 billion. The second part, worth € 1 billion, will be transferred on June 30.
Ministers further discussed progress on creating a banking union in the European Union. The EU has already made the first step - it agreed the European Central Bank would take over the supervision of all banks in the euro zone from July 2014 in what is called the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
They also heard from their new Italian counterpart, Fabrizio Saccomanni, about how he planned to revive the country‘s economy.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General views of the press conference room (arrivals) (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, on Greece: The latest figures show an improvement of the general government's deficit. Greece is clearly regaining competitiveness and the current account deficit is narrowing rapidly. Also the stability of the banking sector is gradually improving. Greece also made good progress with the implementation of the prior actions required before the upcoming disbursement. But some further work on a limited number of issues is needed to ensure full compliance. On the basis of what we have heard today, we are confident that Greece will take the further necessary steps in the coming days, in close cooperation with the Troika.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Italy: We were reassured to learn that the government intended to pursue an ambitious structural reform agenda aimed at raising Italian's growth potential and addressing the country's imbalances. We called on the new government to maintain the pace of fiscal consolidation achieved under the previous government's reforms.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Portugal: We invited the Portuguese government to speedily implement the agreed measures so as to ensure the achievement of the budgetary targets which have been revised in the context of the 7th review, on account of the worsened economic outlook for Portugal.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Slovenia: Our colleague from Slovenia presented us the policy priorities of the new Slovenian government. And we discussed the findings of the European Commission in that review of Slovenia. We agreed that the Slovenian government has to take swift and decisive action to address the country's imbalances and implement a comprehensive reform strategy. First and foremost, Slovenia needs to restore trust in the resilience of its baking sector.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, on the banking union: Direct recapitalization by the ESM will have a crucial role to play in the broader context of a banking union, and in the specific context of the future move towards a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM). The Commission will bring forward an ambitious proposal for a SRM before summer break, as an essential complement to the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Olli Rehn: It is very important in our view that the direct recapitalization by the ESM, which will be a well designed bridge to stability, can be agreed in June, in parallel with the Council's political agreement on the bank recovery and the resolution directive. I believe that we can accelerate its final adoption by the European Parliament, as well.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Klaus Regling, ESM Managing Director, on Cyprus: The ESM today disbursed €2 billion to Cyprus. This was the first disbursement under the tranche of €3 billion that has been approved. The second disbursement will be disbursed before the end of June. Cyprus is the first fully-fledged macroeconomic adjustment programme under the ESM.