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article imageGreece accepts 'enhanced and permanent' presence of EU monitors

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By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 21, 2012 in World
Greece has agreed to accept an "enhanced and permanent" presence of EU monitors and Troika representatives, as a condition of the 130 billion bail out loan.
In addition to the biting austerity measures that the Greek parliament signed up to in order to secure the 130 billion euro loan necessary to stave off a disorderly default on March 20 when the next bond payments are due to creditors, other strict terms were enforced. Greece has undertaken to reduce its debts to "120.5% of its GDP by 2020 and accept an 'enhanced and permanent' presence of EU monitors to oversee economic management." (BBC)
Ta Nea reported European Commissioner Olli Rehn outlined conditions that will impose a permanent surveillance over the Greek government. He said "The Greek support plan based on one strict condition: provides for enhanced surveillance of Greece and the imposition of permanent presence of the mission of the European Commission on the ground to provide aid to Greece in order to streamline the functioning of the State."
The Economist reported "Over the next two months Greece has promised to adopt legislation 'ensuring that priority is granted to debt-servicing payments', with a view to enshrining this in the constitution 'as soon as possible'", thus making conditions fixed regardless of whom the electorate choose in Greek elections.
The presence of both the EU task force and the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) will become a permanent feature, though the IMF will not announce until March its own level of participation in contributions. Christine Lagarde of the IMF said its own assistance "will depend on the actions that Greece has committed to do by the end of February" regarding its cuts in public spending.
The bail out loan agreement commits Greece to interest rates on its new debts of "3.65% for 30 years and 2.63% by 2020. It starts at 2% for the period from February this year until February 2015, will increase to 3% in February 2020 and 4.3% by February 2042."
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