Ahead of an important meeting of the Eurogroup next Monday in Brussels, S&D Euro MPs called on the Eurozone finance ministers to conclude the second review of the Greek adjustment programme as soon as possible.

During a plenary debate today in Strasbourg, S&D Group vice-president responsible for economic and monetary affairs, Udo Bullmann, said:

“This is not the first time the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is voicing demands that are at odds with its European partners' positions. So far, it has always been possible to reach agreements. There is no reason why this time should be different. We expect the Eurogroup to break the current stalemate on 20 February.

“There is a big difference between the winter of 2017 and the summer of 2015. Today, the problem is not the Greek government unwilling to do what it takes. This time, conservative finance ministers are preparing their electoral campaigns and hope to win Eurosceptics’ votes by driving a hard line against a government working more reliably than its predecessors on necessary reforms.

“Greece does not require yet more austerity. Based on the May 2016 Eurogroup agreement, Greeks and Eurozone partners need to lay the foundations for sustainable growth and the creation of quality jobs.”

S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès, added:

“The European Commission’s macroeconomic data presented yesterday on the Greek economy speak for themselves.  In 2018, Greece will have a primary surplus of 3.7% when they were expected to achieve a result of 3.5%.

“The Greek economy has performed much better than expected.  GDP growth prospects could reach 2.7% in 2017 and 3.1% in 2018.

“Over the last years, the country has made huge efforts and sacrifices.  What are we waiting for? Those who do not want to conclude the second review are the ones who want to reopen the debate on the Grexit.

“For us, Socialists and Democrats, Grexit is not an option.”

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