Eurogroup wants more austerity measures from Greece

'Contingency package' if budget targets not met

22 April, 18:53

    Chairman of Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks during a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers in Amsterdam Chairman of Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks during a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers in Amsterdam

    AMSTERDAM - The Eurogroup decided on Friday that Greece must approve a 'contingency package' with additional austerity measures that will be brought in if Athens does not meet budget targets set for 2015 and 2016.

    Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem made the announcement.

    The Greek government must now approve the package and - if an agreement is also brought in with international creditors on all the other measures - on Thursday a Eurogroup meeting will be held to unblock the aid. ''We came to the conclusion that the policy package should include a contingent package of additional measures that would be implemented only if necessary to reach the primary surplus target for 2018," the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference in Amsterdam after the ministers met.

    He said that the contingency measures need to be ''credible, legislated up-front, automatic and based on objective factors''.

    The measures themselves and what exactly will bring them in will be decided alongside Greek minister Tsakalotos, he said. The Eurogroup has tasked Dijsselbloem with finding ways to possibly lighten debt, which will in any case need to respect limits set during discussions last year: debt cannot be cut, but can be extended.

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