Read Dombrovskis partnership agreement with Greece
Proto Thema – The European Commission and Greece published a partnership agreement for technical cooperation to support the Greek reform process. The Commission will provide targeted technical support and expertise, through its Structural Reform Support Service, in areas such as combatting tax evasion and corruption, modernising the welfare system and creating a better business environment.
Speaking in Athens, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said: “It is crucial that there is political will and national ownership of reforms in Greece, and that they are carried out in dialogue with social partners. I am convinced that through the implementation of the reform programme, and effective use of the EU funds in support of investment, employment and social inclusion, Greece will return to financial stability, economic growth and jobs creation.”
Dombrovskis visit dampened the climate created by French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Athens on Thursday and Friday where hope had been cultivated. The EU commissioner pointed to open matters and insisted that there would be no recapitalization of banks unless the review of Greek finances is completed so that a number of issues still on the table can be finalized by November 15 so that people’s deposits at Greek banks are protected. Facing the threat of haircuts to bank deposits, the Greek government is vulnerable to pressure on a number of issues, including the matter of so-called “red” non-performing loans.
Meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Dombrovskis appeared willing to compromise, stating that “there is no need to be dogmatic” and willing to find solutions via negotiations. While the European Commission may be willing to show flexibility regarding non-performing loans for the sake of burdened households, the same does not apply to the International Monetary Fund that is urging for either foreclosures to begin or for the loans to be transfered to foreign institutions.
Following his meeting with Tsipras, Dombrovskis said that if Greece implements its fiscal program to the dot then it would recover faster. He said his meeting with Tsipras was positive and constructive and included a discussion of the country’s funding with money from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), EU fund absorption and technical assistance that will be provided for Greece. He said that Tsipras had pledged to fulfil the country’s commitments fully.
Apart from running reforms, the two men also discussed the refugee crisis and its strain on the state budget. He said that 5.9 mln euros will be disbursed to Greece in aid so that it can deal with the refugee crisis.
On Tuesday, Dombrovskis visited ‘InnovAthens‘ – an innovation project co-funded by the EU. He was accompanied by the Mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis.