Creditors due in Athens on 23 October

Creditors due in Athens on 23 October

Eurozone finance ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss changes in the Eurozone, including the future of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The Greek issue was not discussed at great length, despite a third review of the country’s bailout program commencing imminently.

At the end of Monday’s Eurogroup meeting, it was confirmed that the mission heads of Greece’s international creditors will return to Athens for direct talks with the Tsipras administration on 23 October.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem reiterated the strong will on all sides to conclude the third review before the end of the year.

Dijsselbloem also confirmed that he will remain at the helm of the Eurogroup until the end of his term in mid-January, even though he will not be the Netherland’s finance minister in a few days when a new government is expected to be finalized.

Monday’s Eurogroup meeting was the last one attended by Wolfgang Schaeuble in his capacity as German Finance Minister. The experienced politician is expected to be elected Bundestag president soon after a new coalition government led by Angela Merkel is formed in Berlin.

Commenting on the possibility of the new German government’s stance towards Greece becoming stricter in the event of the Free Democrat party joining a ruling coalition with Chancellor Merkel, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the Greek bailout was “solid” and could not be changed by new governments.

“Individual elections in individual countries cannot change the program,” Dijsselbloem told reporters.

Financial Affairs Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, also expressed confidence that “we will find solutions in Greece as we did in the past.” The Commissioner refused to be drawn into further commenting on the expected coalition government in Germany; however, he added that he expected the country to “remain a decisive pro-European partner.”/IBNA