Dijsselbloem insists Greece continue labor market reforms



Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem insisted that labor reforms continue, particularly the restoration of collective bargaining.

Dijsselbloem noted that a group of experts had reached the conclusion that collective bargaining was a European best practice and must be restored in Greece, whilst also noting that in some countries there were criteria of representativeness in collective bargaining and these criteria were now under discussion between Greek authorities and the institutions.

"The opinion of the experts' group was absolutely clear. Let us see how the process unfolds," he added.

Speaking during a discussion with MEPs on the European Parliament's Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, Dijsselbloem also referred to Greece’s debt pointing out that the medium-term debt relief measures will be implemented after the Greek programme is successfully concluded, in the second half of 2018, but promised to discuss the issue with the IMF over the coming weeks.

The Eurogroup president noted that the implementation of reform programmes in Greece had been slow at the start of the crisis but its public finances were now in a much better state, though the economy had taken a pounding. He stressed that the Greek programme was far from completed and that "it will take many years" to strengthen structures and bring about a full recovery. This was possible, he added, and an effort was being made by the Greek government.

Regarding differences of opinion between the IMF and European Commission about economic growth in Greece, Dijsselbloem said the IMF was more pessimistic but the last quarter downturn in 2016 "had shown it was right."

He said Greece was now in a phase of "unstable growth" and that, in order to create stability, Greece's economy must start to open and become stronger. "What is needed is a lot of confidence on the part of investors, which is not yet so strong," he said.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.