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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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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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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26 October 2015: Technical cooperation plan agreed between Commission and Greece

October 27, 2015

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 […]

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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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25 May: Eurogroup agrees on short-term debt relief measures for Greece

May 26, 2016

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 […]

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20 December 2015: Greek Prime Ministers calls on IMF to stay out of Programme

December 20, 2015

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 […]

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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, 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 […]

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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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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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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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20 September 2015: Greek elections confirm governing majority

September 21, 2015

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 […]

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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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22 June: ECB accepts Greek bonds as collateral again

June 22, 2016

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 […]

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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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27 August 2015: Greek Supreme Court Judge New Head of Government after Resignation Tispras

August 27, 2015

Top Supreme Court judge Vassiliki Thanou was sworn in on Thursday to head a caretaker government that will lead Greece to new elections that are expected to take place on 20 September 2015. On 20 August, only hours after the ESM Board of Directors approved the first loan tranche of the 3rd Greek financial assistance […]

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

July 16, 2015

28 July: IMF self-critical of Greek bailout

July 28, 2016

The Internal Evaluation Office (IEO) of the IMF on Thursday night 28 July has published a highly critical report on the institution's participation in the Greek bailouts. The report on the role of the IMF in the Greek, Irish and Portuguese crises comes at an important moment, as the IMF is still formally to decide on […]

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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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How Europe’s least controversial rescue fund became controversial – by Nik de Boer and Chris Koedooder

August 20, 2015

Nik de Boer and Chris Koedooder are both PhD Researcher at ACELG. (This comment first appeared on the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) blog: Note: This comment was first published on 20 July 2015 at the ACELG Blog. On 11 August 2015, the third Greek rescue package, to be provided by […]

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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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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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15 December 2015: Greek Parliament approves new milestones

December 16, 2015

In its statement of 14 August 2015 on the ESM Programme for Greece, the Eurogroup stated: "The first tranche under the ESM programme of EUR 26 bn will consist of two sub-tranches. The first sub-tranche of EUR 10 bn will be made available immediately in a segregated account at the ESM for bank recapitalisation and […]

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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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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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15 November: former Greek Finance Minister Papaconstantinou presents new book at EUI

November 15, 2016

Today George Papaconstantinou, former Finance Minister of Greece and author of ‘Game Over: The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis’, the point man in the Greek economic and financial crisis, presented his his new book at the EUI and gave the insider's view of the Greek Crisis as experienced by him. When he became Finance […]

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13 December 2015: ESM Managing Director Regling says Grexit not excluded

December 14, 2015

In an interview with Greek newspaper To Vima the Managing Director of the ESM Klaus Regling commented: "The monetary union was designed in a way that no exit of any country was anticipated. Therefore, there is no framework for that. Greece has agreed to implement reforms which are necessary so that its partners can provide […]

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Europeanizing the Eurozone – by Tomas Dumbrovsky

July 31, 2015

Tomas Dumbrovsky (J.S.D. Candidate at the Yale Law School, Assistant Professor at Charles University in Prague and author of the Reports on the Czech Republic and Slovakia) (This comment first appeared on I-CONnect: The way the Greek debt crisis was handled in the last weeks has been a public relations nightmare. The more or […]

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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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5 December: Eurogroup agrees on short-term debt sustainability measures for Greece

December 5, 2016

The Eurogroup of 5 December 2016 discussed the sustainability of Greek public debt with the objective to regain market access. In this context, the Eurogroup endorsed today the full set of short-term measures on the basis of proposals by the ESM and preparatory work by the EWG, which will be implemented by the ESM following […]

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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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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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14 January: Eurogroup discusses draft Council recommendation on euro area

January 14, 2016

For the main results see here: "The Eurogroup exchanged views on the implementation of the 2015 euro area recommendation and discussed the draft Council recommendation on economic policy of the euro area for 2016, which is scheduled to be approved by the ECOFIN Council on 15 January 2016. Ministers agreed on five policy priorities for […]

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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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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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The Greek Referendum: Unconstitutional and Undemocratic – by Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou

July 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 […]

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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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12 December: IMF claims it is not asking for more Greek austerity

December 12, 2016

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 […]

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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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