Tuesday, 17 March 2015 - 16:00
Cyprus scenario possible for Greece, says Dijsselbloem
Keeping Greece in the eurozone and strengthening the monetary union remains the main objective of the Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The Dutch Finance Minister told broadcaster BNR that there are scenarios ready in case of Greece not meeting the EU requirements in July. Dijsselbloem said that exploration of potential scenarios for troubled states is more or less finished. “Think about Cyprus”, he said. “The banks there limited withdrawals for a while, capital inflows and outflows were subject to numerous conditions, and so all kinds of scenarios are still conceivable,” he pointed out. “It is also important to keep Greece on track,” Dijsselbloem also mentioned. “The recovery in Greece went remarkably well, but due to political uncertainties, there will be setbacks. My political commitment is to keep the eurozone intact and strengthen it, and that is where I will focus.” The most severe cuts in the Greek economy are already past, he said. “They have a primary surplus, so they can start repaying their government debts. The important issue is keeping the budget in line and not letting it deteriorate.” Dijsselbloem mentioned that attracting direct foreign investment and ordering the taxation system still remains an important individual responsibility of Greece. The Dutch Finance Minister provided his commentary in the context of an ongoing debate about the future of Greece in the Euro Zone. Greece has negotiated an extension to the current rescue programme. Yet the long-term design of ensuring the country’s solvency remains unclear.