Greece Can Expect Very Little From Thursday’s Eurogroup

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Last Update: 11:34

Despite the fact that the European Stability Mechanism gave the green light for the short-term debt relief measures, Greece can expect very little from Thursday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos sent a letter to the European institutions claiming that on Thursday’s Eurogroup he will present all Greek positions regarding the issues that have caused the stalling of negotiations on the review of the bailout program.

The most Athens can expect from the meeting of euro zone finance ministers is a decision to recommence negotiations to complete the bailout program review. Talks between the two sides have stopped since mid-December, when creditors‘ representatives left Athens. Since then, there has been very little progress, as required reforms and measures have not been implemented by the Greek side.

However another reason talks have stalled is the differences between European creditors and the International Monetary Fund. The U.S. institution is not convinced that the fiscal targets agreed on can be met and pushes for further pension reforms and lowering of the tax-free threshold of incomes. European institutions, on the other hand, believe that fiscal targets set for Greece can be achieved.

Athens hopes that the differences between Europe and IMF can come to an agreement on the sidelines of Thursday’s Eurogroup. Along with that, Athens hopes that on Thursday creditors will be convinced to return to Greece to resume negotiations on the bailout program evaluation.

Regarding closing the second bailout program review, it seems that the Greek government would now have to wait for the next Eurogroup, scheduled for February 20.

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