ESM head: Greece may return to the markets before end of bailout program

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
ESM head: Greece may return to the markets before end of bailout programFrom 1999 to 2009, Greece had the highest increase in income

Greece’s fiscal consolidation has been positive and strong and the country could return to the markets before the end of the current bailout program next year, European Stability Mechanism head, Klaus Regling, said in a speech at the Atlantic Council “EuroGrowth Initiative” event, held in Washington DC on Thursday. 

“I am confident the country can return to the market and stand on its own feet again before the program ends next year. As long as it implements the reforms that it has promised, it can be Europe’s next success story,” he said. 

Asked during a press conference after his speech whether Greek debt is sustainable, Regling said “it is not easy to answer” because it “depends on your assumptions”. He said based on the current lending arrangement, the last repayment from Greece to ESM will happen in 2060 and “a lot can happen by then”. 

“There can be no certainty as to what growth will be 10-20-30 years from now. And small variations in this growth assumption can have a huge impact on the assessment of debt sustainability,” he said. 

Regling said the ESM is in the middle of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) which “are not easy but I’m optimistic we will manage to do that”. 

He also clarified that there is no debt overhang in Greece unlike what one reads in newspapers because ESM already provides debt relief. “Greece already benefits every year with 10 billion euros [of debt relief],” he said, adding that it is yet unknown if more will be needed but the issue “is on the Eurogroup agenda”.

Short-term debt relief measures

ESM is already implementing the short-term debt relief measures which are reducing the debt to GDP ratio in 2060 by 20 percentage points. “When the program ends in August next year the Eurogroup will look with the IMF at so-called medium-term debt measures, if needed, and that’s under discussion now, but they could be implemented if needed next year,” he said.

The most important, he continued, it that they made a long-term commitment and said that, in the long run, the euro-area is prepared to give additional debt relief to Greece is needed. “That’s very useful because uncertainty over a 30-30 year horizon is very high,” he said. 

Asked about the level of austerity in Greece, the head of ESM said “there has been tremendous austerity […] but one has to put it in context.” The fiscal deficit in 2009 was 15.6 percent of GDP, while last year it seems that there was a balanced budget, he explained. “There’s no need for additional fiscal adjustment.” 

From 1999 to 2009, Greece had the highest increase in income, which was much faster than productivity gains and that’s why the country lost competitiveness and run a tremendous current account and a big fiscal deficit, he said. “One can argue whether this fiscal adjustment should happen over five years, seven years, or nine years, but it has to happen.” 

On the program review, he said the institutions are preparing May’s Eurogroup and they will do that in Washington DC, on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Regling also said the mission chiefs will return to Greece on Monday or Tuesday. 

He also said Greece could repay IMF’s loans with the unused ESM funds allocated to the country, but noted decisions will not be taken before the end of the program. 

Asked whether Greece’s bailout could become a success story, he responded: “If they continue with their reform program, it could be soon.”

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Tornos
  1. 26/07 23:55

    Greek student wins gold at Maths Olympics 2017 in Brazil

  2. 26/07 23:47

    Government: Greece's return to markets 'crowned with success'

  3. 26/07 23:30

    Crete hoteliers propose 10 euro entry ticket for famous beaches

  4. 26/07 18:42

    Greece honored at major Australian tourism event in Sydney

  5. 26/07 15:37

    Debt restructuring mechanism begins operations in Greece on August 3rd

  6. 26/07 13:25

    Film Commission seeks photos to showcase Greece for movie location

  7. 26/07 11:17

    Crete and Corfu among top value for money destinations for UK families

  8. 26/07 00:12

    Over 12,000 people evacuated in southern France as wildfires rage (video)

  9. 25/07 23:52

    Greek FinMin has conference call with international investors

  10. 25/07 19:58

    Disappointing rise in tourism arrivals in Greece up to end-May

  11. 25/07 19:53

    Investment interest for Greece rising

  12. 25/07 19:48

    New York Euripides Summer Festival – The Madness of Hercules

  13. 25/07 19:42

    Tourism Minister: Greece “fully booked” during summer 2017

  14. 25/07 19:35

    "Cheeky Exploits" new trend on Instagram “visits” Greece

  15. 25/07 19:29

    Princess Mary and Royal family of Denmark holiday on Kos island (video)

  16. 25/07 19:21

    Qatar sheikh super-luxury yacht moors at Skiathos island in Greece (video)

  17. 25/07 18:00

    Update: Strike in Greek museums and sites on 29 & 30 July suspended

  18. 25/07 17:37

    World Tourism: Trips to be more expensive in 2018, European hotel prices + 6.3%

  19. 25/07 17:14

    Ehotelier: The top four application trends for hotels from HITEC Toronto 2017

  20. 25/07 17:02

    Jet2: Turkey capacity almost doubled for summer 2018

  21. 25/07 16:55

    Tui customer fined £25,000 over false holiday sickness claim

  22. 25/07 16:44

    Germany warns its citizens against travel to Turkey

  23. 25/07 14:47

    Cosmos introduces premium off season tour brand to the European market

  24. 25/07 12:52

    Survey: The 20 most expensive luxury hotels in the world

  25. 25/07 10:27

    Air France unveils new lower-cost airline for millennials named 'Joon'

  26. 25/07 01:52

    Report: Greek Australians seek closer ties With Greece

  27. 25/07 01:44

    Tourism Industry: Artificial intelligence and robotics are real and here to stay

  28. 24/07 23:38

    Tender for concessions at port of Alexandroupolis in Greece in the autumn

  29. 24/07 23:14

    Robert Duglin: US tourism in Greece will grow dramatically due to ASTA conference

  30. 24/07 21:33

    Tip: Don’t miss the springs of Kalithea while on Rhodes island in Greece

  31. 24/07 19:27

    Athens Airport wins top honour for efficiency & cost

  32. 24/07 17:22

    Greece returns to Bond Market for first time after 2014

  33. 24/07 16:25

    Get Your Guide: Demand for Greek sites and tours strong and growing

  34. 24/07 15:19

    Casa Romana and Roman Odeon to open again in Kos on Tuesday

  35. 24/07 13:15

    Bank of Greece: Incoming tourist traffic up 2.5% in January-May 2017

  36. 24/07 11:07

    Ancient Greek Theatre Festival opens with Euripides’ “Medea” in Dodoni, Epirus

  37. 23/07 19:52

    Amadeus: Four key scenarios for the future of the travel industry

  38. 23/07 13:47

    FM: Greece’s policy is to ‘keep roads open’ for Balkans and Turkey

  39. 23/07 13:44

    Free internet access granted to 14,500 households in remote islands of Greece

  40. 23/07 13:39

    Waste management projects will create 16,000 jobs in Greece

  41. 23/07 13:23

    ‘The Greek Freak invaded Manila’ this Weekend in the Philippines

  42. 23/07 12:43

    Moscovici: IMF decision “good news” for Greece and a “signal to markets”

  43. 23/07 11:55

    Heraklion hospital: Two injured in Kos earthquake still critical

  44. 23/07 10:16

    Standard & Poor's revises outlook on Greece to positive from stable

  45. 22/07 20:54

    Greek main opposition ND party sends delegation to Kos

  46. 22/07 20:41

    Plan to turn Hellenikon project into major development tool will take 25 years

  47. 22/07 20:18

    Major European interest recorded for Greek gas grid operator DESFA

  48. 22/07 20:14

    Greek Intellectual Property Agency’s assets frozen after embezzling charges

  49. 22/07 18:32

    Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner enjoy Mykonos' sea and sun (videos)

  50. 22/07 17:48

    Panic as British Museum in London is locked down after “explosion” heard

  51. 22/07 16:28

    Belgian composer Wim Mertens on Athens Herod Atticus Theater on July 30

  52. 22/07 12:37

    Greece makes grand presence at Australia’s NTIA Gala Dinner

  53. 22/07 12:25

    New species of fish weighing 2 tons discovered in Australia (video)

  54. 22/07 10:22

    Greek-American featured at International Engineering Conference

  55. 21/07 18:41

    Passenger traffic at Pafos airport soars by 17.8% in Cyprus in H1 2017

  56. 21/07 18:36

    Kos airport management reports says facility operating normally and safely

  57. 21/07 18:25

    Aegean Regatta 2017: Sailing at its best

  58. 21/07 18:14

    Ministers: Tourism operates normally after earthquake on Kos (update)

  59. 21/07 18:03

    Cyprus: House prices drop by -1.4% in Q1 2017 but rise by 4.1% in annual basis

  60. 21/07 17:55

    Ancient Cycladic art travels to Athens airport after July 27

  61. 21/07 17:38

    Remains of ancient Apollo temple unearthed on Greek Despotiko islet west of Antiparos

  62. 21/07 17:34

    Real estate property value plummets by 34% in Greece

  63. 21/07 16:25

    Santorini Experience event set for October 6-8 in 2017

  64. 21/07 16:19

    Report: 30 Diaspora fellows to conduct projects with Greek universities

  65. 21/07 16:11

    Study: Overall impact of Helleniko investment up to €11.5 billion in Greece

  66. 21/07 16:00

    Things to do when visiting Paleokastritsa on Corfu island in Greece

  67. 21/07 15:55

    Greece to get €24 million to finance wind farms under EU Juncker Plan

  68. 21/07 15:50

    National Hellenic Society’s Heritage America Program ιmpresses and ιnspires

  69. 21/07 14:43

    Minister announces financing instruments to boost recycling in Greece

  70. 21/07 12:37

    Model Izabel Goulart and footballer Kevin Trapp romance in Mykonos (video)

  71. 21/07 11:49

    Manos Konsolas: Five immediate measures to support Kos tourism

  72. 21/07 10:29

    Report: Paphos in Cyprus facing big drought threat

  73. 20/07 23:59

    Hurriyet: 1,800-year-old Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey faces risk of collapse

  74. 20/07 23:53

    First Hydra World Music (HMW) festival to be held between August 25-27

  75. 20/07 23:49

    Cyprus Tourism Minister hails record arrivals on the island

  76. 20/07 23:43

    Mazinnov innovation forum by French embassy in Greece during November

  77. 20/07 23:36

    Survey: Most firms found ways to reduce labor costs in Greece

  78. 20/07 23:25

    Two Greek women reach Denali summit in Alaska for first time

  79. 20/07 22:43

    New platform to track money sent abroad from Greece

  80. 20/07 22:18

    Glamorous Greek island of Andros: A hidden Cycladic gem

  81. 20/07 20:05

    Corfu Municipality helps people with disabilities enjoy the beach

  82. 20/07 18:58

    Greek parliament passes bill nationalising Thessaloniki transport

  83. 20/07 18:49

    Safeguarding Cultural Heritage Project in Crete (STORM)

  84. 20/07 17:00

    Fly me to the Moon: "Balos” at the Athens airport

  85. 20/07 16:51

    Bank of Greece: Greeks tighten budget but take more trips abroad

  86. 20/07 14:47

    Chinese Cosco-managed Piraeus Port eyes new labor deal with workforce

  87. 20/07 12:40

    DESFA signs deal linking gas grids from Greece to Hungary and Ukraine

  88. 20/07 10:35

    Greece’s role in the New Development Bank under discussion

  89. 19/07 23:46

    Thasos Island in Greece: The Emerald of the Aegean

  90. 19/07 23:35

    Archaeologists: Unknown monumental palace rewrites ancient Greek history

  91. 19/07 22:21

    Magic Always Happens Fundraiser in Limassol, Cyprus on July 28

  92. 19/07 22:03

    No damage to ancient artifacts from 'spray-attack' at Vergina Tombs in Greece

  93. 19/07 20:00

    New State Department Deputy Chief of Protocol and Acting Chief

  94. 19/07 18:37

    Rescuers reach Romanian hiker trapped on Mount Olympus cliff in Greece

  95. 19/07 16:55

    Uma Thurman vacations on Greek island of Spetses

  96. 19/07 14:51

    Camerata brings Sweeney Todd to the Herod Atticus Odeon in Athens

  97. 19/07 10:31

    Greece assumes presidency of OECD meeting on tourism policies for sustainable growth

  98. 19/07 00:33

    Diaspora children’s programs of the General Secretariat for Greeks abroad

  99. 19/07 00:28

    Modiano market sale in Thessaloniki completed by Greek privatization fund

  100. 19/07 00:09

    Εxhibition 'εmotions' opens at the Acropolis Museum in Athens on Tuesday