Naftemporiki — Visiting EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a clear message on Thursday from Athens that the country will successfully exit the memorandum era in August 2018 – with the conclusion of the third bailout – and that efforts are now all focused on this target.
Greece does not want such a credit line because of the conditions attached to such assistance.
Neither Ireland, nor Portugal, Spain or Cyprus, which all received euro zone bailouts in the past, decided to ask for such a precautionary credit line, opting for what is called in EU jargon a “clean exit.”
Greece has borrowed more than 200 billion euros from euro zone governments in three consecutive bailouts since 2010 and some lenders are concerned Athens may not repay the loans over the next decades or reverse implemented austerity reducing its ability to repay the loans.
After Greece exits its bailout it will regain a degree of sovereignty in fiscal policy-making, submitting only to less detailed creditor scrutiny in what is called post-program surveillance.
In response to a press question, Juncker – considered as among the more pro-Athens leaders in Europe – said he is no proponent of “blind austerity” and expressed satisfaction over the fact that Greece will become a normal member of the Eurozone after the end of the summer. Along those lines, he said a priority is now the rapid conclusion of the fourth review of the current – and last – memorandum.
In response to the all-important prospect of further debt relief for Greece, he said EZ partners must assume their responsibilities, as Greece is meeting its obligations, commitments and promises.
He also expressed satisfaction that Greece has the highest absorption rate for structural funds and EIB loan schemes