Financial assistance programmes: current and exit
A financial assistance programme is a package of agreements that the European Commission provides to a state that has requested assistance. The financial assistance will be provided by the emergency funds. As of 1 July 2013 the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is the only emergency fund to provide financial support within assistance programmes. Up to this date the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was the main instrument to finance new financial assistance programmes. The situation of the financial assistance programmes is mentioned below.
During its meeting of 15 June 2017, the Eurogroup expressed its satisfaction with the reforms made by the Greek parliament. The measures were part of a package of policy reforms that the country had agreed with the European Commission, European Central Bank, European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund on 2 May 2017.
On 7 July 2017 the ESM’s Board of Governors approved an additional memorandum of understanding between the ESM and Greece and subsequently agreed to the provision of an €8.5 billion loan. The ESM provided an initial tranche of €7.7 billion to Greece in July 2017 and the remaining €0.8 billion at the end of October 2017. Including this €8.5 billion payment, Greece had received €273.9 billion in loans from the three aid programmes by the end of October 2017, consisting of €182.0 billion from the EFSF and ESM and €91.9 billion from the IMF, the Greek Loan Facility and the EFSM. The total commitment remains unchanged and amounts to €337.8 billion.
On 25 September 2017 the EU Ecofin Council recommended that the excessive deficit procedure for Greece should be closed as the country had made sufficient progress to reduce its budget deficit.
Exit programme Ireland
The Eurogroup has stated that the Irish financial assistance programme after a duration of three years (2011 – 2013) has been successfully completed in December 2013 (see Eurogroup Statement, 9 December 2013). The Irish government, with a cash buffer of €20 billion, has indicated not to request further assistance. However, the euro country will be subjected to post-programme surveillance by the European Commission and the IMF until at least 75% of the aid has been redeemed (in 2031).
Exit programme Spain
The ESM has stated that the Spanish financial assistance programme has been successfully completed in December 2013. The Spanish government has indicated not to request further assistance. The ESM will work closely with the Spanish government to ensure full repayment and that the loan is serviced in a timely manner.
Exit programme Portugal
The Portuguese financial assistance programme has been completed in June 2014. On 5 May 2014 the Eurogroup supported the Portuguese government’s decision to exit its adjustment programme without successor arrangement. Portugal will be subjected to post-programme surveillance by the European Commission and the IMF.
The Cypriote financial assistance programme has been completed in March 2016. Thanks to successfully completed reforms Cyprus only needed € 7.3 billion of the € 10 billion loans, granted tree years ago. The ESM will check if the loans are reimbursed as of 2015.