EU Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici is meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Thursday morning to discuss the results of the Commission report which showed Greece has fallen behind in reforms required to receive almost 1 billion euros in aid.
Speaking after the publishing of the Commission’s report on Wednesday and before his visit to Athens, he said the key reforms that have to be addressed are the government’s plan to protect the primary residences of distressed mortgage holders and the sale of Greek public power utility PPC’s lignite units.
“It is not a simple matter, I often discuss it with the Greek authorities and the prime minister,” Moscovici said, referring to PPC.
Concerning the mortgage holders, he said the new legislation that will replace the so-called Katseli law should protect vulnerable groups, but should not be taken advantage by strategic defaulters.
It should also support the efforts of Greece’s lenders to reduce their bad loans and improve their capital base so that they can start lending to support growth and job creation, he added.
Moscovici said the most recent government proposal “looks much better than the previous one,”, but improvements need to be made.
Asked whether he believed Greece and its creditors are close to a deal on these two key issues ahead of the crucial Eurogroup on March 11, he said:
“I hope the government will close these pending issues, not only because it will pave the way for the disbursement of one billion euros, but also because it will send a signal to the markets that it remains committed to its pledges, which is important for the country’s credibility and attracting investment.”
Eurozone finance ministers will decide whether Athens has met the criteria for the next round of debt relief.
Moscovici’s meeting with Tsipras will start at 9:30 a.m. The Commissioner will also speak at the Parliament’s european affairs, national defence and foreign affairs and financial affairs committees.