Malta would have preferred more realistic package for Greece - PM

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this evening gave a statement in Parliament (see pdf link below) on Sunday's European summit which led to an agreement being reached on Greece.

The agreement, he said, was that if Greece carried out a number of agreed measures, the Eurozone countries would consider embarking on negotiations for a third bailout.

The new bailout funds would come from the European Stability Mechanism and eurozone countries will not be forking out any money.

So far, Malta's exposure to Greece was €177 million in cash and guarantees.

Replying to questions, Dr Muscat went through a number of the tough measures Greece had to implement.

These included the adoption of the EU Recovery and Resolution Directive by tomorrow.

Malta, which had been at the forefront in the implementation of this directive, had taken almost six months to take on the directive. Greece had to do it in a day.

Other measure included privatisation, involving the transfer of assets to an independent fund in Greece targetted to raise €50 billion, but likely to raise much less.

Three quarters of this sum, Dr Muscat said, would be used to recapitalise banks and decrease debt.

He said that since the country's money had been protected, he would have preferred it had Greece been given a more realistic programme to follow.

At the beginning of his statement, Dr Muscat welcomed the landmark nuclear deal reached today between Iran and six global powers.

Opposition deputy leader Mario de Marco said that the Greeks were the victims in the humiliation of Greece. Other victims were the trust and credibility factors of the Greek government because of the irresponsibility shown by the latter.

The Opposition, he said, was completely behind European Council in the decisions taken in this last summit and there was absolutely no difference between the position taken by the government and that of the Opposition.

He said that this would not be the last time the people heard about what was happening in Greece.

For although an important step was made, there were still many commitments to be made and everything depended on Greece’s implementation of its programme.


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