Monday , October 25 2021

It has not closed the issue of pensions and benefits



The message that the commitments made by Greece can not be challenged was reiterated today by Eurogroup President Marios Senteno, speaking at a press conference after the Finance Ministers' meeting in Brussels.

"The institutions and the Greek authorities are holding talks on the 2019 budget and, in the context of these debates, they are also assessing the level of the fiscal area above the target of a primary surplus of 3.5% in 2019," Senteno said, adding that " the goal is not under discussion. "

For his part, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Pier Moscovici, noted that the Commission had no comment on Greece for the budget, as in the case of Italy or other countries. "This is a very good sign and I want to emphasize this message," he said.

"The condition is the fiscal country, the fiscal space seems to be there, we have to look at the size of the financial space, the discussions are going on and then how it can be used," added the European Commissioner.

At the same wavelength, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Rellingling, noted that "3.5% commitment is not disputed by anyone in the Greek government" and added that "commitments from the previous program should not are disputed. " However, Mr Regling added that any policies adopted are now in the dialogue.

Optimism for Italy

At the same time, the Eurogroup president expressed optimism that the Brussels-Rome dialogue with Rome would lead to a solution and both sides will reach an agreement.

"I'm sure the Italian government will respond," Senteno said. "Italy has another week to submit to the European Commission the revised draft budget".

He also said that in today's meeting "several ministers supported the Commission's view in its assessment of the Italian budget. Dialogue will continue, we expect the Italian authorities to reply next week."

"The ball is on the Italian court"

For his part, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovic noted that this is the first time that the Commission is asking for a revised draft budget.

He clarified that he is waiting for a new and updated budget showing a reduced deficit and debt under control. Then we have to find a way of agreeing on the rules of the Eurozone, he added.

"We respect the sovereignty of Italy, but we must also respect the Eurozone Treaties from all the Member States," the European Commissioner said.

"The ball is now on the Italian stadium, and the Italian government will have to submit the revised budget plan by November 13. Dialogue with the Italian authorities will continue and will be a constructive dialogue," he added.

He also pointed out that five more countries have now provided additional information on their budget plans to the Commission.

Resilient banks

Finance ministers were also briefed on the results of the latest stress tests in the Eurozone systemic banks.

"We agreed that while the resilience of banks has increased, some issues from the past remain, and particularly the need to further reduce red loans," Senteno said.

Deepening EMU

Mr Senteno pointed out that besides the budgets, the Eurogroup discussed financial stability, while Ms. Nei was the head of the Unified Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for the last time.

Also discussed was the deepening of the Eurozone, but also the implications of the policy change of the European Central Bank. In the field of ESM reform, it was pointed out that extensive discussion and progress had taken place and that the changes had to be completed by December.

ESM chief Claus Regling emphasized his transformation and new structure of preventive lines.

Finally, Mr Senteno confirmed the extraordinary Eurogroup on 19 November, which will be devoted mainly to the deepening of EMU.

At the same time, Commissioner Moscovici announced the announcement of the Commission's forecasts on Thursday and the reports on the budgets of the member states on 21 November.

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