Greece Tries to Unblock Negotiations on Bailout Program Review

Monday, January 9th, 2017
Last Update: 16:35

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is to start a new round of contacts with euro zone finance ministers and top European Commission officials to unblock talks on the bailout program review.

The Greek government aims at restarting negotiations with creditors which have stalled because of differences on several issues. The objective is to complete the evaluation in the January 26 Eurogroup. Athens needs to finish the review in order to receive the 6.1-billion-euro tranche by February.

The finance minister will meet with his French counterpart Michel Sapen in Paris on Wednesday. He will also meet with European Commissioner on financial affairs Pierre Moscovici, President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and Finance Minister of Italy Pier Carlo Padoa. Tsakalotos is seeking allies to support the Greek positions.

However, France and Italy, traditional supporters of the Greek positions so far, are in a period of transition. Presidential elections are to be held in April in France, while the situation in Italy is not very stable after the resignation of prime minister Matteo Renzi. This means that there is time pressure on the issue.

The ministry of finance’s aim is the activation of short-term measures on debt easing before the Euro Working Group on January 12 which will be ratified by a formal meeting of the Board of the European Stability Mechanism.

Meanwhile, Tsakalotos and Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Chouliarakis will try during the EWG meeting to have a positive statement about the course of the assessment, which will give the green light for the return of creditors’ representatives to Greece for the continuation of negotiations.

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