The Slovenia Times

Finance Minister Insists Greece Must Pursue Reform Efforts


"The ministers expressed frustration about Greece having failed to do in two months what had been agreed. It did not soften its position much from February, in fact it has even adopted measures that run contrary to what had been agreed," Mramor told the STA.

His statement comes after several European media reported that Friday's debate was very heated.

The Financial Times quoted insider sources ias saying that Mramor suggested a "Plan B" - Greece's exit from the eurozone - if the talks continue to flounder. This reportedly led Greece's Yannis Varoufakis to call him "anti-European".

Mramor acknowledged that the debate was tense, but he pointed out that the position of all eurozone ministers on Greece was the same.

"A deal must be reached, this is the only way for Greece to emerge from the crisis situation," he said.

But he was quick to point out that "impatience is not called for" as structural measures that Greece has implemented are finally yielding results.

In fact, Mramor said, the debate showed that structural reforms were producing impressive results, as evident for example in the case of Ireland.

"Ireland's growth rate is approaching 5%, in the long term they are planning 3% growth, followed by reduction of unemployment."

He said Slovenia was following in Ireland's footsteps, whereby Slovenia's reforms produced results even faster.

"Reforms in Slovenia started in the second quarter of 2013. In the final quarter of the same year we already recorded growth, and in 2014 growth was very brisk."

At the meeting Slovenia was thus held up as an example of reforms, including constitutional changes, pension reform, bank bailout and labour market reform, producing fast and "very efficient" results, he said.

The meeting wrapped up today with a debate on a capital markets union which Mramor described as signalling just the beginning of the planned formation.

"Many more debates will follow," he said in view of the requisite harmonisation of accounting, tax and capital standards, which he said would take "very long".


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