De Jager Says Too Early to Speculate on More Aid for Greece
Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager and his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, declined to comment on providing more aid to Greece, saying they needed to wait until a report on the country’s fiscal situation due to be published as late as October.
Before a meeting with Schaeuble in The Hague today, de Jager said it’s “too early to speculate” on giving more assistance to the cash-strapped country. He also said he’ll work with Schaeuble on “effective” banking supervision.
“It’s totally clear we wait on the report of the troika” made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund “and we all agree we will not make speculation before we have this troika report,” said Schaeuble.
Both officials have signaled opposition to providing more funds to Greece. “We can’t make yet another new program,” Schaeuble said Aug. 18. “There are limits.” Greece has received a pair of aid packages with commitments totaling 240 billion euros ($301 billion).
The troika is compiling a progress report that may determine the country’s future in the euro as the ECB fleshes out bond-buying proposals announced by President Mario Draghi earlier this month. A top German court is due to rule on Sept. 12 whether Europe’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, is constitutional.
“The Netherlands, Germany work closely together and we have similar positions,” Schaeuble said. “We want a strong Europe and we know that it’s important for all the countries that the process of further integration goes ahead.”
The troika report on Greece’s economic progress is likely to be delivered in late September or early October, the European Commission said yesterday. Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday told members of her coalition calling for a Greek exit from the euro to “weigh their words,” as she signaled a renewed determination to keep the single currency intact.
“What we’ve always maintained is that countries in return for loans must meet the commitments,” de Jager said. “And that needs to be reflected in the troika report. The troika report is about the issuance of tranches under an existing program.”
There have been “objections” in Germany and the Netherlands regarding a new program for Greece or more money, de Jager said.
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