Eurozone finance ministers met today in Luxembourg, to discuss a number of topics including reforming the services sector in the Euro area and plans to implement Greece’s new European Stability Mechanism program.
Greece will begin implementing the agreement next week, with progress to be reviewed before December according to EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem stated that the debt relief can’t be discussed for now until the review is complete. The Eurogroup endorsed the passing of the first set of milestones needed for Greece to receive the first €2 billion disbursement of bailout funding.
The meeting also began preparation for the annual Eurozone budget surveillance procedure. Member states will have to submit draft budgetary plans for yearly review by the European Commission. Spain and Greece have already submitted budget proposals. Commissioner Moscovici sees risk of Spain missing 2016 budget targets while President Dijsselbloem said it is up to Spain to act on EU budget recommendations.
The Greek Finance Ministry expects the Greek economy to contract 2.3 percent and post a primary budget deficit of 0.24 percent of GDP this year. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said a review by the Commission is key for Greek bank recapitalization and debt talks. Mr Dijsselbloem said there can’t be recapitalisation of Greek banks unless governance is fixed however.