On 14 November, the Eurogroup Ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss the economic situation in the light of the Commission’s autumn economic forecasts, fiscal measures and economic growth.
Eurozone finance ministers are expected to lay the groundwork for Ireland and Spain to leave their international bailout programmes. Ireland and Spain hope to become the first among the eurozone's five bailout beneficiaries to no longer need outside help. Such a development would be good news for the countries' governments and the crisis-battered currency bloc as a whole.
The discussion are also expected to focus on Greece's efforts to reach an agreement with international lenders on how to close a 2 billion euro financing gap in its 2014 budget. A team of officials from the troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank visits Athens regularly to check on progress on its bailout commitments and decide whether to release subsequent loan tranches, without which Greece would default.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Maria Fekter, Federal Minister for Finance of Austria
||SOUNDBITE (in German) Maria Fekter, Federal Minister for Finance of Austria: The task force prepared different outcomes with different consequences. It has been presented to the Member States, they will have to agree on model. We will also raise the programm of the Eurogroup.
||SOUNDBITE (in Italian) Fabrizio Saccomanni. We will talk about the program for the future of the European Union as regard as the coming Italian presidency in order to establish a real Monetary and Economical Union.
||Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Industry
||SOUNDBITE (in French) Pierre Moscovici: We will take a look to the situation of Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain or the where notable progress have been made and we must always use the same approach regarding France which is saying that when a European country keep its commitments, we must be understanding and supportive and that means that member states leaving the program is good news.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance:After a few considerations and a lot of advice from the principles and the Troika and certain European colleagues we decided it was in the best interest of the country not to look for a precautionary program. We think that the time was now right for exiting the program and that may not always be so. We think the time was right because we have a budget behind us which signals a deficit target less than what is in the program; we are coming up to the anniversary of the program and the purpose of the program and the 260 actions we took over 3 years was actually to exit the program meaning that the purpose of the program was to restore Ireland's abnormality so that we would be a normal Eurozone country making our decisions in government and funding ourselves on the markets.
||SOUNDBITE (in German) Wolfgang Schäuble, German Federal Minister for Finance: We will talk about the end of the Irish plan. The Irish Government made a decision. It means that our politic of stabilization worked. Spain will end its plan by the end of the year. Greece made good efforts. I think it is a good signal, they are on right track. We also focus on the development of Europe's banking union.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Mario Draghi, ECB President: the Irish government should be congratulated. The problems has been on tracks for years, the progress have been significant in a variety of areas and we are confident that all the needed actions will be taken and done. We are confident in the capacity of the Irish government to take all the appropriate actions where they are needed.
||SOUNDBITE (in Spanish) Luis de Guindos Jurado, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain:When the banks are not solvable, it is difficult to get a credit. The Spanish programme which would close today is a necessary step to have a sound bank. This must be combined with a progress of the bank's situation and now we can see better perspectives for the credit.
||SOUNDBITE (in Dutch) Frans Weekers, Dutch State Secretary for Finance: We will talk about the ESM.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Ioannis Stournaras, Greek Minister for Finance: I expect good things because we start a discussion; nobody can deny progress that Greece has achieved so far. So I am looking forward this discussion.