ECB urges Greeks to back reform

ECB urges Greeks to back reform

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
The new government in Greece must put the country’s bailout programe back on track and Greeks must back reforms to ensure they succeed, ECB executive board member Joerg Asmussen said on Monday.

Although important reforms had been implemented, “many other necessary reforms have not been followed through due to weak programme ownership,” Asmussen told a conference here organised by the Economist magazine.

“The programe is the best option for Greece,” he said, referring to the raft of austerity measures agreed by Athens in return for two rounds of rescue loans and a public debt write-off that have kept the country afloat.

The programe is helping Greece’s standard of living, he said and the new government “should not waste time” avoiding or loosening it.

“Delaying adjustment is risky,” he said, and would increase the debt-to-ratio GDP above the 120 percent by 2020 targeted as part of the rescue programe.

Adjustment “is also not free”, he stressed and would require additional funding from creditor countries.
Asmussen argued that the difficulties Greece was facing “do not stem from the program.”