Ansip: Greece should implement rapid austerity reforms ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonia's former prime minister Andrus Ansip, who currently serves as Vice President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission (EC), told ERR that the fate of Greece is in the hands of the Greek people, not the European Union.

Ansip said that the EC has done everything in their power to sort out the mess.

“The commission has sought solutions, but unfortunately Greece has not accepted them,” he said, adding that the EC has been clear and consistent in its policies. “The fate of Greece is in the hands of its government and citizens, not the EC”.

Ansip recommended Greece to continue with the “wise reforms” started by earlier governments. “As we know in Estonia, dynamic and necessary reforms are the best way to achieve success,” he said, citing Portugal and Ireland as similar examples – both countries were also heavily affected by economic recession.

“Irish economy is now one of the fastest growing in the European Union,” he said.

A referendum to decide whether Greece was to accept the bailout conditions in the country's government-debt crisis proposed jointly by the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB), took place on Sunday, July 5. It was the first referendum to be held since the republic referendum of 1974, and the only one in modern Greek history not to concern the form of government.

As a result of the referendum, the bailout conditions were rejected by a majority of over 61 percent to 39 percent approving, with the "No" vote winning in all of Greece's regions.

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said on Monday, following the results of the Greek referendum, that the decision of the Greeks to decline the international assistance program will make the situation worse and significantly reduces Greece’s chances of emerging from the crisis.

“The reforms in Greece are still inevitable and the decision to reject the international offer of help makes the situation critical,” Rõivas said, adding that now only bad and worse options remain to solve Greece’s situation.

Estonia’s exposure to the 341 billion euros in Greek aid from the eurozone is 800 million, or about 4.2 percent of GDP. Greece's lack of credibility has therefore raised many concerns in Estonia.

Editor: S. Tambur

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