Estonian Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi has stated that Greece will not receive any significant concessions on the terms that have been set out in the European Stability Mechanism, according to a report by Ingrid Teesalu on the English language service of the Estonian Public Broadcasting website .
At a meeting in Luxembourg yesterday (Thursday 21st June) Mr. Ligi told ERR radio that “The major objective in the case of Greece is to reduce the debt and deficit level of the country” whilst going on to say that whilst progress had been made, more was needed to be done, the report stated. The next step would be for overseas representatives of those creditors to visit Greece, he went on.
Greece, which has a new goverment after recent elections, is currenly treading the line between meeting its creditors’, incuding the IMF and the EU, demands, whilst keeping in mind the need to placate domestic opinion in seeking to renegotiate some of the bailout terms, according to the report.
Mr. Ligi’s stock has meanwhile been in the ascendancy it seems; according to a report today on the Estonian Press Digest from News2Biz, the Estonian Finance Minister received a glowing endorsement from German newspaper Der Spiegel, recommending that Ligi replace outgoing Euro Group chief, Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg (who is also that country’s incumbent Prime Minister) who has headed up what is in effect the political guiding organisation of the Euro currency since 2005.
Der Spiegel noted Mr. Ligi’s steering through of painful reforms including massive public spending cuts following the 2008-2010 depression, which circumvented the need for either currency devaluation or IMF or other bailout, and helped ensure Estonia’s accession to the Euro Zone in January 2011, as the main rationale in its advocacy of Ligi’s candidature.
Mr. Ligi, of the ruling Reformierakond/IRL coalition government, for his part remained modest, stating that he was flattered by the recommendation and that there was no reason why Mr. Juncker shouldn’t continue in the role.
Mr. Juncker is due to step down from the Euro Group leadership in July.