U.S Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew discussed the situation in Greece and the negotiations with its lenders, in talks with EU officials, on the sidelines of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. On Saturday he spoke by phone today with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
During the call, Secretary Lew and Prime Minister Tsipras discussed the importance of Greece, the IMF, and European institutions concluding the first review of Greece’s economic reform program in a timely manner. The Secretary urged Greece to continue making progress on implementing robust reforms, and underscored the importance of Europe following through on its commitment to put Greece’s debt on a sustainable path through debt relief.
Secretary Lew also expressed his continued concern over the migrant crisis in Europe and his hope for a comprehensive European solution to prevent further hardship and loss of life.
Lew also had a meeting in Shanghai with President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem and they discussed progress being made toward concluding the first review of Greece’s economic reform program. Secretary Lew recognized that European institutions, the IMF, and Greece still had considerable work ahead of them but noted the importance of concluding the review and agreeing on meaningful debt relief for Greece in a timely manner.
During a conversation with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, on Friday, Secretary Lew and Minister Schäuble discussed the economic outlook for the United States, Germany, and the European and global economies. Secretary Lew underscored the need for a comprehensive policy approach that marshals all levers of economic policy—including fiscal policy where appropriate—to address demand shortfalls, create jobs, and raise incomes.
Secretary Lew and Minister Schäuble discussed progress being made toward concluding the first review of Greece’s economic reform program. Secretary Lew recognized that European institutions, the IMF, and Greece still had considerable work ahead of them but underscored the importance of concluding the review in a timely manner, and of Europe following through on its commitment to put Greece’s debt on a sustainable path through debt relief.
Greece must push on with the implementation of crucial reforms to stabilize its economy and return to growth and broad political consensus will help the effort, the European Union’s Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told a conference on Friday.
“Crucial reforms must be done now, the cost and challenges will be bigger in the future,” the commissioner said in a video message. “A broad political consensus would increase the probability of success and would reduce uncertainty.”
Athens is keen to conclude the first review of its performance on implementing reforms prescribed in its third bailout, clinched in August last year. But a key element – the overhaul of its ailing pension system remains a snag.
Moscovici said that measures taken by the leftist-led government since August have been encouraging and a fast completion of the review would boost confidence and pave the way to ease capital controls that were imposed in late June.
He said the migration crisis afflicting the EU is a challenge for all the bloc’s members and requires a coordinated European solution.