Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has admitted that it is “very likely” that Greece will need additional financial aid when the present assistance programme ends.
Speaking in Brussels recently, Dijsselbloem said: “It is very likely that by the end of this programme Greece’s problems will not be totally resolved, and that a return to the financial markets will not be possible before the end of 2014.
“Greece will need more assistance,” he conceded, “and the Eurogroup will be ready to offer more support.” However, he added that this “additional support” would not necessarily be a loan.
Dijsselbloem made his remarks in front of the European Parliament Commission on Economic and Monetary Affairs when questioned by Members of the European Parliament (MEP) about the need for a third bail-out for Athens.
The Eurogroup president pointed out that it was premature to divulge precise details about a new assistance package.
“I think it is too soon to speak about aspects of the new programme,” he said after MEPs pressed him further about what extra conditions could be imposed on the country, and what specific purposes [any] loan would be designed to meet. “It’s too early to speculate on details.”
Dijsselbloem said that the troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) will finalise its next report – which details the financing of the assistance programme – by the end of November and added that it will only be possible to undertake a full evaluation of an eventual third programme during the course of 2014.
Two previous bail-out packages designed to help Greece has generated €240 billion, but Athens still faces serious financing problems and the country remains in enormously high debt.