Banking union: presentation by the Single Resolution Board
The Chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) Elke König presented the organisational work that the SRB has completed with a view to fully taking up its role, from 1 January 2016, as the resolution authority for the banks belonging to the banking union.
Ministers were reassured that the preparations were on track.
The institutions and the Greek Minister for Finance Euclid Tsakalotos briefed the Eurogroup on the way forward for implementing Greece's European Stability Mechanism (ESM) programme, which had been agreed last August. The Eurogroup also discussed the results of the comprehensive assessment of the four major Greek banks, carried out by the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
The Eurogroup called on the Greek authorities to finalise the financial sector measures, as well as the legislation agreed under the first set of milestones, in the course of the week. This would unlock the disbursement of €2 billion by the ESM and a transfer of the funds needed for the recapitalisation of the Greek banking sector out of the €10 billion earmarked under the programme.
The €10 billion amount was previously released to an ESM segregated account, and can only be transferred to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) once the agreed conditions are met. The Eurogroup mandated the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) to evaluate the implementation of the above-mentioned measures no later than at the beginning of the week.
Economic and fiscal situation in the euro area
The Eurogroup exchanged views on the economic and fiscal situation in the euro area, on the basis of the Commission's 2015 Autumn forecast and the views presented by the European Central Bank.
The broad-based economic recovery is expected to continue, though at a slightly weaker pace than previously expected, mainly due to the growth slowdown in China and other emerging market economies. Ministers agreed that efforts needed to be stepped up to transform the recovery into self-sustained economic growth through a strategy comprising sound fiscal policy, structural reforms and investment.
Spain: 4th post-programme review
The Eurogroup welcomed the results of the fourth post-programme surveillance mission to Spain, carried out by the European Commission in liaison with the European Central Bank in October.
The mission concluded that the country's ongoing adjustment efforts were continuing to yield positive results, as shown by the stabilisation of the financial sector, the strong economic recovery and low sovereign risk premia.
Proposals on economic governance: euro area aspects
The Eurogroup held an initial exchange of views on the Commission's proposals on economic governance as a first contribution to the debate on completing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Commission adopted these proposals on 21 October as a follow-up to the Five presidents report on completing the EMU, published in June 2015.