News & Comments

We welcome short entries about relevant European or national developments for this News and Comments section. You are invited to use the contact form for this or to directly contact Thomas Beukers ( or Viorica Vita (

31 October 2015: Greek Parliament approves bank recapitalisation legislation

October 31, 2015

The Greek Parliament on 31 October adopted a bill allowing for the injection of funds into the financial sector. This coincided with the publication by the ECB of stress test results indicating that the 4 biggest Greek banks (National Bank of Greece, Piraeus, Alpha Bank and Eurobank) needed recapitalisation. See for detailed news coverage Reuters […]

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21 January: EP sets up working group for assistance oversight

January 21, 2016

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents is reported to have made further decisions on the EP's involvement in oversight of the financial assistance programme for Greece. The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will be tasked with the oversight, and is to be assisted by a Financial Assistance Working Group (FAWG) comprising 30 MEPs, which will […]

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16 October 2015: Greece adopts reforms ahead of bailout review

October 18, 2015

The approved measures include cutting pensions, raising the retirement age, increasing punishment for tax evasion and liberalising the energy market. They were approved by a majority of 154 out of 300 Members of Parliament. For more details see the reporting by Reuters.

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14 February: IMF expresses concern over Greece

February 14, 2016

While the institutions are carrying out the first review mission in the framework of the third financial assistance package to Greece, pension reform plans are among the most controversial issues. Tension is mounting between Greece and the IMF, currently not participating in the programme and only prepared to do so in the presence of credible […]

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19 August 2015: German and Dutch Parliament support 3rd Greek assistance package

August 19, 2015

Today the German Bundestag voted in favour of the 3rd financial assistance package for Greece, with 453 votes in favour and 113 against (18 abstentions). The German Finance Minister had asked for the formal approval by the Bundestag. This approval is necessary for the German government representative to agree to adoption by the ESM Board […]

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22 February: Italy presents long-term view on EMU

February 22, 2016

On Monday 22 February Italy presented a government paper on a "Shared European Policy Strategy for Growth, Jobs, and Stability". On the long term EMU the paper states: "To make the monetary union really irreversible we must manage our European common house by adopting a systemic, common vision. A stronger monetary union needs strong common […]

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The ESM and National Parliaments: France – by Diane Fromage

July 28, 2015

Update on the Third Greek Aid Package: On 15 July 2015 both French assemblies were called to vote on a governmental declaration concerning the rescue of Greece. Prime Minister Manuel Valls was present in the National assembly whereas his declaration was simultaneously read in the Senate by Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius. Before I analyse here […]

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Is the IMF necessary for the 3rd Greek Program? – by Alexandros Kyriakidis (University of Sheffield)

April 20, 2016

Alexandros Kyriakidis is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics of the University of Sheffield Tensions have been growing between Greece and the IMF, including a highly controversial Wikileaks leaked conversation between the IMF Mission Chief for Greece and the Head of IMF’s European Department that raised issues at the highest level, with letters […]

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13 August 2015: Votes in Greek and Finnish Parliament related to MoU Greece

August 13, 2015

The Greek Parliament is set to vote today on a set of prior actions presented as a condition for endorsement by the Eurogroup on 14 August of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Greek government and the 'Institutions' (IMF/EC/ECB) on 11 August. See also the relevant section in the Report on Greece by Afroditi-Ioanna […]

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13 April: Fifth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain

April 18, 2016

A team from the European Commission, in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank (ECB), carried out the fifth post-programme surveillance visit to Spain on 11-13 April 2016. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) participated in the meetings on aspects relating to its early warning system. The mission was limited in scope, and mainly focused […]

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22 December 2015: ESM Board of Directors approves disbursement to Greece

December 22, 2015

In its press release the ESM announced: "The Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) today authorised the disbursement of €1 billion to Greece. This disbursement, which follows the Greek government’s completion of the second set of reform milestones, will be used by the government for debt service, budget financing, and co-financing projects […]

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22 July 2015: Greece adopts new reforms required before start of negotiations on ESM assistance

July 23, 2015

Reforms include a new Law on the recovery and resolution of credit institutions and investment firms, that implements Directive 2014/59/EU. See this opinion of the ECB of July 20 on the Greek draft law. The reforms also include a Code of Civil Procedure. The laws were voted by 230 out of 300 MPs, with 63 […]

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9 May: Eurogroup agrees principles on Greek debt measures

May 11, 2016

In an attempt to secure IMF participation in the 3rd Greek assistance programme, the Eurogroup of Monday 9 May agreed that: "In line with the statements of the Euro Summit and the Eurogroup in the summer of 2015, the Eurogroup stands ready to consider, if necessary, possible additional debt measures aiming at ensuring that Greece's […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Germany – by Malte Kröger

December 17, 2015

Malte Kröger ( is currently legal trainee (Referendar) at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg and a PhD-candidate at the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law at Hamburg’s Law Faculty. Malte is the author of the Report on Luxembourg and the Report on Malta on this website, and is currently also completing the Report […]

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17 July 2015: German Bundestag authorizes negotations on ESM assistance Greece

July 17, 2015

See the relevant section in the Report on Germany by Sabine Mair for further information on parliamentary involvement in the ESM in Germany.

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23 May: IMF suggests detailed modalities of debt relief ahead of Eurogroup

May 24, 2016

On Monday 23 May, one day before a Eurogroup meeting devoted to Greece, IMF staff has published a report with a critical preliminary debt sustainability analysis of Greece. The report was distributed to the IMF Executive Board in the morning, but – the report explicitly mentioned – was neither discussed nor approved by the same […]

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The ESM, the 3rd Greek package and National Parliaments: Portugal – by Rita De Brito Gião Hanek

December 16, 2015

Rita De Brito Gião Hanek is a lawyer and legal consultant working with governmental and nongovernmental organizations on public law, public international law and international human rights law projects and is also co-author of the Report on Portugal on this website Parliamentary approval of financial assistance provided under the ESM is not required in Portugal. […]

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16 July 2015: Dutch Parliament debates start of negotiations on ESM assistance Greece – no vote required

July 17, 2015

See the relevant section in the Report on The Netherlands by Jotte Mulder for further information on parliamentary involvement in the ESM in The Netherlands.

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17 June: ESM approves € 7.5 billion disbursement to Greece

June 17, 2016

On 17 June the Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) authorised the second tranche of €10.3 billion of ESM financial assistance to Greece. It also authorised the first disbursement of this second tranche of €7.5 billion to Greece. Greece will use the €7.5 billion to meet debt servicing obligations and to help […]

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Latvians do not trust Greeks or how Latvia approved the Third Greek Bailout: Parliamentary involvement – by Zane Rasnača

December 5, 2015

Zane Rasnača is PhD Researcher in Law at the European University Institute and author of the ‘Report on Latvia’ on this website. The tumultuous road towards Latvian support for the Third Greek Bailout was marked by strong scepticism from both politicians and the general public. Already in late 2013 when Latvia was in the process […]

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16 July 2015: Finnish Parliament authorizes negotiations on ESM assistance

July 16, 2015

See the relevant section in the Report on Finland by Päivi Leino-Sandberg & Janne Salminen for further information on parliamentary involvement in the ESM in Finland.

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16 June: ESM decides on self-evaluation regarding closed programmes

June 16, 2016

At its Annual Meeting on 16 June, the ESM Board of Governors has decided to mandate the ESM with an evaluation of closed EFSF and ESM financial assistance programmes. The mandate includes a study and comparison of all completed programmes rather than being a country-by-country analysis. An evaluation team is tasked that will have appropriate […]

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1 December 2015: ESM releases 2,72 billion euro to Greece for bank recapitalisation

December 2, 2015

The Board of Directors of the ESM has decided to release €2.72 billion to Greece to recapitalise Piraeus Bank. The decision came after approval by the European Commission of additional state aid based on the bank’s amended restructuring plan.

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15 July 2015: French Parliament votes on Euro Summit deal

July 16, 2015

See for more information our more recent analysis by Diane Fromage. See also the relevant section in the Report on France by Robin Gadbled and Diane Fromage for further information on parliamentary involvement in the ESM in France.

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10 October: Eurogroup clears way for partial approval of disbursement to Greece by the ESM Board of Directors

October 10, 2016

The Eurogroup adopted the following statement on the first review of the Greek ESM Programme: "The Eurogroup welcomes the implementation by the Greek authorities of the set of 15 milestones in the context of the first review of the ESM programme. The Eurogroup commends the Greek authorities for adopting the necessary further measures to reform […]

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23 November 2015: ESM Board of Directors authorises disbursement to Greece

November 23, 2015

Today the Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) authorised the disbursement of €2 billion to Greece, following, following the Greek government’s completion of the first set of milestones and a positive statement by the Eurogroup: "The Eurogroup welcomes the completion by the Greek authorities of the first set of milestones and the […]

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15 July 2015: Greek Parliament adopts all commitments specified in the Euro Summit statement

July 16, 2015

20 September: ECJ judgments on the liability of EU institutions within the ESM and the legal nature of the Eurogroup (Ledra Advertising and Mallis Case)

September 20, 2016

Both cases were started by a number of Cypriot account holders that suffered losses from the bank restructuring that followed from the Cypriot request for financial assistance from the ESM. In the Ledra Advertising case, the Grand Chamber of the Court established that the Commission and ECB can be liable for their actions under the […]

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21 November 2015: Review mission Cyprus economic reform programme

November 21, 2015

Read the statement by the European Commission, ECB and IMF: Staff teams from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC), in liaison with the European Central Bank (ECB), visited Nicosia during November 3-13 to review Cyprus’s economic reform programme. Cyprus’s programme, which is supported by financial assistance from the European Stability Mechanism […]

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Greek implementation Fiscal Compact part of key Euro Summit deal

July 13, 2015

20150712-eurosummit-statement-greece Part of the statement reads: "Given the need to rebuild trust with Greece, the Euro Summit welcomes the commitments of the Greek authorities to legislate without delay a first set of measures. These measures, taken in full prior agreement with the Institutions, will include: (by 15 July) (…) full implementation of the relevant provisions […]

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14 December: Eurogroup blocks debt relief in reaction to Greek 2017 budget

December 14, 2016

After Greece adopted its 2017 budget with a tight 152-146 majority on Saturday 10 December, including a total of 617 million to around 1.6 million low-income pensioners, the Eurogroup has circulated a statement concluding that the necessary unanimity for Greek debt relief (see this ESM explainer) is now lacking: "- The institutions have concluded that […]

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19 November 2015: Greek Parliament approves reform law

November 20, 2015

The Greek Parliament has approved a set of prior actions, including a home foreclosures bill, part of a deal between Greece on the one hand and the European Commission, ECB, ESM and IMF on the other hand on the measures needed for approval by the eurozone Finance Ministers of a disbursement of € 2 billion. […]

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8 July 2015: Greek government formally requests ESM assistance

July 12, 2015

See below for the text of the formal request: ESM loan request letter 8 July 2015  

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17 November 2015: deal between Greece and creditors paves way to ESM disbursement

November 17, 2015

The Greek government is reported to have reached a deal with the European Commission, ECB, ESM and IMF on the measures needed for approval by the eurozone Finance Ministers of the disbursement of € 2 billion. Last week the Eurogroup failed to gave a green light to the disbursement. For more details see the news […]

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Cyprus: Eurogroup endorses new disbursement of assistance after succesful financial system reform

June 23, 2015

On 18 June 2015 the Eurogroup issued the attached statement, in which it expressed its satisfaction with the entry into force of the legal framework establishing a new foreclosure procedure and the adoption of a comprehensive reform of corporate and personal insolvency laws.

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9 November 2015: no green light from Eurogroup for disbursement to Greece (yet)

November 10, 2015

No deal was reached (yet) at Monday's Eurogroup on disbursement of a next tranche of € 2 billion to Greece, nor to release the linked € 10 billion reserved for bank recapitalisation, as creditors and Greece disagree on the details of foreclosure legislation (the protection offered to homeowners). See for more detailed news coverage EUObserver […]

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24 February 2015: Extension of Greek programme agreed by Euro Area Finance Ministers

February 24, 2015

On 24 February 2015 the Finance Ministers of the Euro Area agreed on a 4 month extension of the Greek EFSF Programme (Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement). National procedures will now start with a view to have a final approval of the extension. See the section of this website on Early Emergency Funding for the […]

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6 November 2015: Greek Parliament approves measures ahead of eurogroup meeting

November 8, 2015

The Greek Parliament on Friday approved new measures ahead of the eurogroup meeting of Monday 9 November which is to decide on a disbursement of 2 billion euro's. For detailed news coverage see the Financial Times and Repubblica.

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14 January: Greece accepts role IMF in financial assistance

January 15, 2016

Before discussing the Greek reform progress at the Eurogroup meeting of 14 January, President Dijsselbloem commented that Greek Finance Minister "Tsakalotos confirmed to me that the Greek government accepts that the IMF needs to be part of the process". Prime Minister Tsipras has always strongly opposed involvement of the IMF in the third Greek financial […]

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