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09 November 2015

European Council: Remarks by Dijsselbloem following the Eurogroup meeting

Eurogroup's president outlined the main highlights of the meeting: the BRRD and specifically the setting up of the SRB; the state of play of Greece; the ongoing economic recovery in the euro area shown in the autumn forecast and the follow-up to the Five President's report.

First of all we discussed the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and specifically the setting up of the Single Resolution Board (SRB). [...] There were two issues that she draw to our attention:

1. Setting up of the national credit lines. That will also be on the agenda of tomorrows Economic and Financial Affairs Council;
2. Timely ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement and transposition of the BRRD by all the Member States.

I am happy to inform you that the Dutch Senate will vote on the last part of legislation tomorrow (10 November 2015) so knock on wood. Then we will have our work done, and all that in preparation for 1 January 2016, of course.

The second issue on our agenda was Greece. We were informed by the Commission, the ECB and the IMF on the state of play, and by the ESM. A lot of progress and work has been done in terms of programme implementation, further development and it has been a very cooperative process. This has been emphasised by all sides. So that was very good news.

We've also taken stock of the ongoing recapitalisation exercise with Greek banks. There too a lot of work has been done and the size of the recapitalisation is smaller than expected earlier, and actually the speed of the process is also going quite smoothly so far. The next thing to do is to have all the financial sector measures in place before the completion of the recapitalisation process. Our Greek colleague Efkleidis Tsakalotos gave his commitment to get that done. There are open issues which you may have heard about which have to do with nonperforming loans, and more specifically household insolvency. So more work needs to be done to get an agreement also on those issues. Implementation needs to be finished over the course of the coming week. All of that is necessary to finalise the process of the recapitalisation. As you remember €10 billion has already been put in a segregated account in the ESM, which is ready if needed and when needed for the recapitalisation process, but of course the agreed conditions need to be met.

So there are two key issues - one is about the governance of the banks, and the other key issue still to be resolved is about household insolvency. So those conditions are to be met in the coming days. We have mandated the Euro Working Group to reconvene at the latest at the beginning of the next week to take stock of the compliance report from the institutions. Hopefully the whole first set will be implemented, but also some of the key issues regarding the governance of the banks will be put in place. And then at the beginning of the next week the EWG can assess that and come to a positive conclusion, which will then be followed by an ESM Board of Governance meeting because they in the end have to take the decisions to make available the €10 billion, or less if less is needed at that point. So that's the process that we've outlined for the coming days and we are all committed to get that done in time. 

Let me quickly mention a couple of other issues on our agenda. We were informed, on the basis of the autumn forecast, of the ongoing economic recovery in the euro area. The recovery will continue despite some global economic issues which we are all aware off. There was great consensus that at the same time we need to use this period and the benign circumstances to push forward structural reforms to get higher potential growth in the euro area. 

On the future of the monetary union, we had an initial exchange of views on the follow-up to the 5 Presidents' report. In October the Commission presented its first proposals on economic governance and today we had a first round of debate on that, and specifically on external representation. Not much I can say about that. It was a first round, and on some other issues like the Fiscal Board and the Competitiveness Authorities. The debate on those governance issues will be on the Ecofin agenda tomorrow, so we'll pick up on that from there. 

Full remarks

© European Council

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