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GREEK FINMIN PRAISES EUROGROUP ATMOSPHERE AS 'BETTER THAN EVER'
“Greece’s economy is entering a new phase," Finance minister Yannis Stournaras said here on Monday evening commenting on the initial approval by Eurogroup of a dual tranche of financial aid to Greece, totaling 7.5 billion euros, for the months of May and June.
Stournaras noted that the first tranche of May, of 4.2 billion euros will be disbursed within the next few days, while the next tranche of June, of 3.3 billion euros, was expected to be released in June, provided that Greece fulfilled certain prerequisites associated with the liberalization of the energy market, the implementation of legislation on corruption and the bill for indebted households.
Commenting on Eurogroup’s decision, Stournaras said "it is clearly a confirmation that Greece is doing well”, adding however that this did not mean that “we should rest assured."
The finance minister noted that the atmosphere in Monday’s Eurogroup meeting was "dithyrambic" for Greece and "better than ever."
Asked about a European Commission report released earlier on Monday, according to which additional fiscal measures accounting for 1.8% of GDP in 2015 and 2.2% of GDP in 2016 may be necessary, Stournaras stressed that such measures will not be lowering wages and pensions, but instead the entire effort will focus on cracking down on tax evasion.
He noted however that such measures will depend on the rate of economic growth, which he said was not predictable.
Similarly, EU Commissioner for economic affairs Olli Rehn said developments will depend on Greece’s rate of growth in 2015 and 2016 and that any predictions at this time for additional measures was premature.