The weight of the effort for Greece is now more on the debt relief and not so much on the completion of the prior actions, the head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling stated on Thursday, during his address to the Economist’s conference in Athens.
The ESM chief noted that the Greek government has made great progress in the implementation of the prior actions.
Referring to the mix of measures for smoothing out the country’s debt profile after August, Regling said that these will be decided at the Eurogroup meeting on June 21 but pointed out that, for the long-term measures, it was not possible to accurately predict all parameters at this stage.
The ESM will be at Greece’s side until it is ready to stand on its own feet, he added.
Regarding the Greek banks, Regling noted that liquidity had improved, as reflected in the reduction of their dependence on ELA, which was now under 10 bln euros, though the challenges for the banking sector remained. He recognised the Greek banks’ efforts to return to normality and underlined that the burden of bad loans on their books continues to be heavy and will remain at very high levels (35 pct) at the end of 2019.