The Greek Government has notified the Eurogroup of its agreement to the further extension until 30 June 2015 of the loan agreement between Greece and the EFSF relating to the memorandum to support the Greek economy.
The last extension expired on 28 February 2015; however, the Hellenic Parliament was neither able to debate the new extension, nor was it informed about it, even though the parliaments of other Member States had already voted on it.
The original loan contract and the two previous amendments had been adopted by law by the Hellenic Parliament before they were signed by the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Bank of Greece and the chief executive of the HFSF. The extension is accompanied by additional conditions and requires the refund of EUR 11 billion, which constitute HSFS reserves with the EFSF.
In view of the above, will the Commission say:
— Has a specific procedure been agreed on for the ratification of this agreement by Member States and the Hellenic Republic and the counterparties, the EFSF, the Eurogroup and the ECB?
— Have the relevant international instruments which are binding on Greece been signed? If so, by whom and on what legal basis?
— Does it consider it adequate, from the point of view of legality, the principle of democracy and the Community acquis, that these instruments should simply be signed by a minister or body of the Hellenic Republic and the other Member States, without the prior ratification by the Parliaments?
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
On 18 February 2015, the President of the Eurogroup received a request from the Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic to extend the loan agreement concluded between Greece and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The Eurogroup agreed a four month extension on 24 February 2015. In line with legal requirements, the extension to the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFAFA) was then signed on 27 February 2015 by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the EFSF, the Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, the Governor of the Bank of Greece and the CEO and Deputy CEO of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. These are the representatives of the same institutions as the signatories of the original MFAFA, which was set up in line with the requirements of the EFSF Framework Agreement. It should be noted that except the date, the terms of the MFAFA have not been changed and that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme did not require an extension as it remains available until March 2016.
The loan agreements are signed between the EFSF and the beneficiary Member State, with additional institutions being involved as required. It is for the beneficiary Member State (in this case, Greece) to determine, in accordance with its own constitutional legal order, what procedure must be followed internally to allow the signature of the loan agreement.