Greece this year "will be able to get out of the programs of external macro-financial assistance" and "will become a normal country in the euro area." This was stated on Monday by the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscosvic following the meeting of the Eurogroup.
"This year will be special for Greece, this year this country will be able to get out of the macro-financial assistance program and become what we always wanted it to be - a normal country in the euro area with normal economic procedures and mechanisms," he said.
The Eurogroup agreed on Monday a new tranche of macro-financial assistance to Greece at € 6,7 billion, which will be listed through the European Stabilization Mechanism (ESM). This was announced by the new head of Eurogroup, Portuguese Minister of Finance Mario Centeno, who on Monday first presided at a meeting of heads of financial departments of the euro area.
"The Eurogroup approved the third report on Greece's reform program, which was given a positive assessment, and a huge amount of work has been done that will allow ESM to pay a new tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of € 6,7 billion," he said. Centeno noted that Athens "has still to make a series of budgetary efforts," and expressed confidence that Greece will cope with this task.
Greece is under the external assistance program since 2010 of the year. During this time, the euro area countries adopted three different three-year programs of macro-financial assistance to this country in exchange for stringent fiscal discipline measures. The first two of them were not brought to completion, and new programs were created on their basis. The third program should be completed in August of the year 2018, after which Greece should return to the borrowed capital markets.
According to various estimates, the euro zone and the IMF spent more than € 350 billion on aid programs in Greece.