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ESM Chief Regling Warns No Let-up in Greek Austerity

July 24, 2018

European Stability Mechanism (ESM) chief Klaus Regling, whose agency is one of the Troika of Greece’s lenders, said the country can not let up on reforms and austerity when three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($381.04 billion) expire on Aug. 20.

The creditors, the European Union-European Central Bank-ESM, said Greece’s economy will need years of monitoring, disputing Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ boast that there would be a “Clean Exit,” without scrutiny to keep him from reneging on promised reforms, including more pension cuts and first-time taxes on previously exempt individuals as well as low-and-moderate income families.

Regling said if Tsipras tries to backtrack on the lenders as he did in reneging on vows to reverse austerity measures that a recently-concluded debt relief deal to provide a longer repayment period on the loans would be suspended.

Speaking in Munich, the German official said it took Greece more than eight years to emerge from an economic and austerity crisis because of the weak government administration and Tsipras reversing some reforms accepted by an earlier government when he took office in January 2015.

That led him to later that summer seek and accept a third rescue package, this one for 86 billion euros ($100.52) billion that came with more crushing conditions he swore to reject but imposed.

There are three reasons it took Greece more time to emerge from the programs: the deep crisis in Greece from the outset, the weaker administration in Greece than in other eurozone states, and the fact that the country reversed some very significant reforms in the first half of 2015.

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