Juncker announces 2-bln-euro aid package for Greece… Merkel: No aid to Greece until Eurogroup approves govt reforms
With an eye towards the “real economy”, EC President Jean Claude Juncker on Friday announced some two billion euros in EU aid towards Greece to boost growth, fight youth unemployment and deal with what the radical left government in Athens calls the “humanitarian crisis”.
Juncker made the statement a day after an unofficial but closely watched meeting between Europe’s top leaders and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras immediately after the EU summit in Brussels.
“This will not be used to fill Greece’s coffers, but to support efforts to create growth and social cohesion in Greece,” Juncker told reporters in the Belgian capital.
The powerful head of the European Commission set a team of technocrats to help the debt-laden and recession-plagued country absorb the extra cash. He also expressed optimism that Athens and its eurozone creditors will finally cut a final deal to shore up Greece’s finances through the implementation of a loan agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated on Friday that the Eurogroup must first assess and approve implementation of new reforms proposed by the Greek government before the next aid tranche is disbursed to the country.
She made the statement during a press conference in Brussels.
Merkel underlined that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will only disburse the next tranche if it is established beyond any doubt that the new reforms ill have the same fiscal effect with the measures they have replaced.