Top Eurozone Official Says Greece Needs ‘Clean’ Bailout Exit

ATHENS (AP) -
Greece bailout
Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (R) speaks to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister and chair of the Eurogroup, during a press conference in Athens on Monday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

The eurozone’s top official says Greece and its European creditors are on a good path to completing the latest round of bailout talks, with a view to a “clean exit” from strict fiscal supervision.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Monday that the recession-battered country is regaining credibility, with a “very strong” fiscal performance in 2016 and 2017.

He told reporters in Athens it is in Greece’s and its creditors’ common interest to rapidly conclude the upcoming new round of bailout talks by the end of 2017, calling this a “feasible” target.

Dijsselbloem said Greece must make a clean, smooth exit from its eight-year bailout program that ends next summer, regaining financial independence.

Greece has relied on international bailouts since 2010. In exchange, it imposed painful spending cuts, tax hikes and reforms.