Finance ministers of the euro-area discussed on 6 November the follow-up of the Greek programme, scheduled to come to an end by the end of this year. Greece received its first package of financial aid in 2010. The aid from the EU and from the IMF has been accompanied with tough fiscal reforms that Greece had to undergo, all of them extremely unpopular. Therefore the Greek government is eager to exit the programme as planned and return to financial markets for lending. Also, the government of PM Samaras plans to exit the IMF programme earlier than 2016, as envisaged originally. To make this important transition safer and easier to handle, the Eurogroup has in principle agreed to set up an emergency credit line for Greece after its exit from the programme. The credit line is to function as a safety net in case Greece has problems to lend money from the markets from 2015. The credit line will be worth €11 billion, a sum originally meant form Greek banks which they did finally not need, and will be provided formally by the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent financial rescue mechanism of the eurozone, using its Enhanced Conditions Credit Line tool. Using the safety net, the Greek government hopes to exit the programme smoothly and finally be able to say, that nobody pushes Greece into more hurtful reforms – an important point before possible elections next year.
2nd May 2018