Last Update: 12:00
After missing the chance to complete the second review of the bailout program in 2016, Athens is gearing up for the January 26 Eurogroup to come to a successful conclusion.
However, the delay of the evaluation completion puts Greece out of the European Central Bank quantitative easing (QE) program. The ECB board of directors is meeting on January 19 to decide which euro zone member states qualify to be in the program. Athens will only qualify after it has met its program obligations.
The next ECB board meeting is scheduled for March 9, a new landmark day for Greece. Yet it is still uncertain whether the Greek government would complete the review on time as the issue of the International Monetary Fund participation in the program is still pending.
The Greek government has been against the IMF participation, something that European institutions insist on. The Greek side, on the other hand, insists that the IMF demands are too harsh and the Greek people cannot stand more austerity measures.
Furthermore, the situation for Greece will get more difficult as Europe’s most powerful economies — and Greece’s biggest lenders — have elections in 2017. The Netherlands elections will be held in March, French elections are in April, while Germany follows in September. Under these circumstances, the Greek issue is likely to take the back seat.