The meeting between Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director Klaus Regling in Luxembourg, ahead of the Eurogroup meeting there on June 17 was “a very constructive meeting,” an ESM statement said on Wednesday.

They discussed recent developments in the Greek economy and the euro area as a whole, and future prospects, the statement said.

After the meeting, Regling said, “Since Minister Staikouras took office we have met regularly and have kept close cooperation. I visited Athens in May, my first official trip after travel restrictions due to the pandemic eased. We continued this dialogue today, ahead of the Eurogroup meeting that will take important decisions related to debt relief measures for the country. Greece has come a long way in the last decade and its economy can again grow strongly after the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Responding, the Greek FM said that he had an “extremely useful discussion that reconfirms the systematic, productive and mutually beneficial cooperation that we have established.”

Greece, he added, “has tackled the health crisis and its impact on the economy and the society to the best of its abilities, as it has been internationally recognized. We still have difficulties and challenges ahead. However, the approval of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan ‘Greece 2.0’, a series of positive indices and recent evolutions, inspire optimism concerning the prospects of a strong recovery and of achieving high, sustainable growth in the post-Covid-19 era.”