Greece: Reforms needed beyond bailout, say Eurozone ministers

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By Damon Embling
Greece: Reforms needed beyond bailout, say Eurozone ministers

After Jean Claude Juncker's visit to Athens where he announced "good news" for Greece, talking of a "clean exit" from its bailout programme in the summer, it's been the turn of Eurozone Finance Ministers to discuss the state of play.

Eurozone officials expressed optimism but stressed the need to continue reforms beyond the end of the programme.

"Today, the Greek Minister presented the growth strategy of Greece for the coming years," said Mario Centeno, Eurogroup President. 

"The strategy is to boost Greece's long-term growth potential and enhance the investment climate. Importantly, it underlines Greek ownership of the reform process beyond the end of the ESM programme."

While most agree the Greek government has to ask for a precautionary credit line, the ECB warns that after the 21st of August it will have to talk with the capital markets and not the institutions.

It also wants clear debt relief in the post-programme arrangement.

Benoit Coeure, ECB Executive Board Member, commented: "Strong and credible debt measures are an essential part of it. The more front-loaded they can be, the more automatic they can be, the less conditional they can be, the more they can contribute to the confidence building exercise between Greece and the capital markets."

On the basis of a successful review, the Eurogroup is due to decide in June on the elements needed for Greece's programme exit.