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.Read More..
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 (email@example.com) or Viorica Vita (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Greek Referendum: Unconstitutional and Undemocratic – by Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene FotiadouJuly 7, 2015
The Greek Referendum: Unconstitutional and Undemocratic By Prof. Xenophon Contiades and Dr. Alkmene Fotiadou (Centre for European Constitutional Law, University of Peloponnese) No democratic country should have to decide on its future through an unconstitutional, undemocratic referendum. Greece did. On Sunday, Greek citizens went to the polls to answer a question characterized by oracular ambiguity. A […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
In a blogpost, IMF economist Obstfeldt and Director of the IMF's European Department Thomsen have reacted to criticism that the IMF would be demanding more fiscal austerity for Greece, in particular for making this a condition for urgently needed debt relief. According to Obstfeldt and Thomsen, these allegations are not true. For the IMF a primary […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
The Greek Referendum from Comparative Perspective: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – by Fernando MendezJuly 6, 2015
The Greek Referendum from Comparative Perspective: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Fernando Mendez, Centre for Research on Direct Democracy, University of Zurich (and co-author of Referendums and the European Union: A comparative inquiry, CUP Press 2014) The aim of this short piece is to situate the July 5th Greek referendum in comparative context. […]Read More..
After the Eurogroup meeting of 7 March, President Jeroen Dijsselbloem remarked: "We discussed the state of play, in particular of course of the first review, what the next steps could be. The outcome of that is that the mission chiefs will return to Athens. I'm not sure when exactly, perhaps already tomorrow. There is enough […]Read More..
An IMF staff report published on 7 February calls on the euro area to offer significant debt relief to Greece. It summarises: "Despite the policy constraints imposed by its membership in the currency union, Greece has made significant progress in unwinding its macroeconomic imbalances. But extensive fiscal consolidation and internal devaluation have come with substantial […]Read More..
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.Read More..
How Democratic is the Greek Referendum? Alexander H. Trechsel (Swiss Chair Professor in Federalism and Democracy at the EUI) (This comment first appeared in EUDO Café: https://blogs.eui.eu/eudo-cafe/2015/07/03/how-democratic-is-the-greek-referendum/) It could hardly get any more dramatic in the negotiations between the EU and the Greek government. The clock is ticking and if no solution can be found […]Read More..
In a joint declaration left-wing Prime Ministers Costa and Tsipras of Portugal and Greece expressed their dissatisfaction with the EU anti-austerity policy.Read More..
Read the statement by Commissioner Moscovici here (in French).Read More..
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. […]Read More..
Towards the Greek Referendum: Is it only a question of legality? Stavros Makris (PhD Researcher at the EUI), 3 July 2015 On 27 June, after an impasse in the negotiations with the Institutions, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, called a referendum on a potential political deal with the Institutions concerning the country’s bailout programme. […]Read More..
After an invitation from Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, the European Parliament has created a Working Group within the ECON Committee, to strengthen its efforts to ensure a strong parliamentary scrutiny of financial assistance programmes. The first fact-finding mission of the ECON Working Group took place in Athens on 30 and 31 March 2016. The delegation […]Read More..
Commission President Juncker issued a statement reacting to a letter Greek Prime Minister Tsipras on the occassion of the Social Summit. Read the reaction here.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
Is the Greek referendum unconstitutional? Afroditi Marketou, 3 July 2015 It would be shocking if the Greek government announced an unconstitutional referendum. They, who had so much emphasized the need for constitutional legality in their critique towards previous governments and in their electoral campaign, they would now so violently and profoundly violate the Greek Constitution […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
No agreement was reached yet on either the conclusion of the first review of the Greek programme or – with the IMF in particular – on debt sustainability. Instead it was agreed that in the coming days a special contingent package of additional measures should be negotiated, that would be implemented only if necessary to […]Read More..
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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
See the relevant section in the Report on Germany by Sabine Mair for further information on parliamentary involvement in the ESM in Germany.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
The European Commission and the Greek authorities have presented their plan for technical cooperation in support of structural reforms. The plan defines the general context of the cooperation, the guiding principles governing the technical cooperation, the areas to be covered by the technical support, specific principles regarding working methods, principles related to the envisaged financing of technical support, and […]Read More..
16 July 2015: Dutch Parliament debates start of negotiations on ESM assistance Greece – no vote requiredJuly 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.Read More..
The Eurogroup of 25 May 2016 welcomed the staff-level agreement between Greece and the institutions in the first programme review and considered the sustainability of Greek public debt. Read the full Eurogroup statement here. On the important issue of debt relief, the statemen reads: "In line with the 9 May Eurogroup statement, and in view […]Read More..
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is pushing for the IMF to stay out of Greece's third bailout programme, leaving the eurozone to take full responsibility for overseeing economic reforms, the Financial Times reports in an interview. Tsipras' resentment of IMF involvement has been no secret, especially after he clashed on the matter with Germany on […]Read More..
Greek Council of State (Plenum) Decision on Labour Measures Implementing 2nd Greek MoU – by Matina Yannakourou (European University Cyprus)April 7, 2015
Matina Yannakourou (European University Cyprus, S.Yannakourou@euc.ac.cy) On 27 June 2014, the Greek Council of State in Plenum issued Decision 2307/2014 declaring all labour law measures implementing the second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in compliance with the Greek Constitution, the TFEU (arts 125 and 136), the ECHR (art 11 and art 1 of its 1st Additional […]Read More..
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.Read More..
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 […]Read More..
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 […]Read More..
Yesterday's elections in Greece confirmed the majority of the coalition formed by the Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras and the Greek Independents (ANEL). Together the two parties have a majority of 155 of the seats at the Greek Parliament (145 for Syriza and 10 for the Greek Independents), compared to their 162 majority in the […]Read More..
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.Read More..
The ECB Governing Council has decided to reinstate the waiver of minimum credit rating requirements for marketable instruments issued or guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic, subject to special haircuts. This means they can now again be used as collateral in Eurosystem monetary policy operations. It also means that purchases of Greek bonds by the ECB […]Read More..