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Good evening everyone. I would like to report back to you about the informal ministerial meeting we had following the break-up of negotiations with the Greek authorities last night and the Eurogroup meeting earlier today. This informal meeting was held at the request of a number of ministers. We were informed by the institutions; we discussed the forthcoming expiration of the current EFSF financial arrangement with Greece and any consequences that may come from that. We discussed the strength and the preservation of the monetary union. Coming out of the financial crisis, a lot of measures have been taken, frameworks put in place, institutions have been built, which have strengthened and deepened our cooperation, and strengthened our monetary union. We are in a much stronger position, certainly more than before the crisis. Also, I would like to stress the point that all of us, euro area member states intend to make full use of instruments available to preserve the integrity and stability of the euro area, to complement any actions the ECB will take in full independence and in line with its mandate. The EFSF and ESM remain strong instruments with our full backing, as they have always been. We will take any necessary measures to further improve the resilience of our economy as an ongoing process.
I would like to stress that the expiry of the EFSF financial arrangement with Greece without a prospect of follow-up arrangements will require measures by the Greek authorities. The institutions stand ready to provide technical assistance to safeguard the stability of the Greek financial system.
The Eurogroup – and that consists of 19 members, I would like to stress – will monitor very closely the situation in Greece, stand ready to reconvene, to take appropriate actions when and where needed in the interest of both Greece and the Eurozone. We also, and this goes also for the Commission and the other institutions, stand ready to support and assist Greece and the Greek people if and when required following the expiration of the financial arrangement with Greece. This is all I have to say. The institutions will provide any technical information you want from them, on risks or possible measures. It is not up to me to communicate on a technical level.