EU urges economic reform as uncertainty lingers

EU urges economic reform as uncertainty lingers

The leaders of the European Union (EU) has approved a new tranche of aid to Cyprus, urged countries stay on the path of economic reform, while also hinting at a gradual exit from some of the aid programmes for debt-ridden countries in the coming months.

The EU said on Friday that it had decided to give financial assistance worth $1.98 billion to Cyprus, reports Xinhua.

Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, however, said international creditors would gradually exit aid programme for debt-stricken countries in Europe.

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem stressed political stability was of utmost importance for Italy. For Portugal, he warned that it was important to stick to “what we’ve agreed within the programme, also including the deficit targets”.

Speaking about Greece, Rehn said, “We will assess the financial needs and the fiscal gap in Greece in the review mission starting Monday. At this stage, it is too early to give figures.”
Rehn said unemployment remained at “dramatic levels” in southern Europe, making economic reforms in these countries all the more important.

According to the data released by Eurostat, the number of employed decreased 0.1 percent in the eurozone, showing that the bloc’s labour market remains in bad shape.