- Title: Greece broadly on track with fiscal targets, EU's Dombrovskis says
- Date: 7th November 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL BUILDING EU FLAG
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2016 15:24
- Keywords: EU Commission Greece Greek Budget Dombrovskis Schaeuble Dijsselbloem Eurogroup Arrivals Review Debt relief
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00157G4ZEV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: TRANSLATION AT SHOT 12 WAS PROVIDED BY EUROPEAN COUNCIL INTERPRETER
European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Monday (November 7) that Greece was broadly on track to meet this year's fiscal targets agreed with its euro zone creditors and its primary surplus goal for next year was also within reach.
Speaking to reporters before a euro zone finance ministers' meeting where Greece will be discussed, Dombrovskis said there is a high probability Greece meets its fiscal targets for the years 2016 and 2017.
"First, we are going to discuss the situation in Greece so the work on the program, the ongoing second review of the program, which I would say is broadly on track. As regards Greece's fiscal performance, we see that they are likely to meet this year's fiscal targets and also the preparations of next year's budget show that the primary surplus target, as outlined in the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) - 1.75 percent of GDP - is within reach," he said.
Greece is financing itself from euro zone loans under its third bailout deal with the single currency area and to get subsequent tranches, it needs to show it is implementing agreed reforms under a process called a review.
To make sure Greece would not need yet another bailout, euro zone finance ministers agreed last May that they would consider debt relief for Athens if Greece meets all the promises under the bailout programme, which ends in 2018.
Also speaking before the meeting, the euro zone finance ministers' chairman, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the euro zone could not determine now the details of medium-term debt relief for Greece because they depend on many factors that will only be known in the second half of 2018.
"It is impossible to determine right now. It depends on what happens between now and the second half on 2018 in terms of economic growth, interest rates, inflation and of course commitment from the Greek government. So that kind of specific clarity on what is actually in the medium term package is impossible to give and that was also understood by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in May when we said we can only put a figure on it when we are in the second half of (the year 20)18," he said.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble excluded the possibility that Greece's creditors grant it debt relief before this date.
"We said everything we had to say in May. After the first review of the programme the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) will start with the short term measures, all the rest will be decided at the end of the second programme, this means 2018, and we already said what will be discussed by then so it doesn't need to be said again. We will decide looking the economic effect of the second programme, this is what Germany agreed to," Schaeuble said.
He also warned that the second review was unlikely to be completed by December, adding such delays were not unusual.
Euro zone ministers will meet again in Brussels on December 5 to resume discussions on the issue.
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