Last Update: 17:32
The deadline for the completion of Greece’s bailout program evaluation is the end of February with the participation of the IMF, said a European Union official who briefed the press in Brussels on Wednesday.
The reasoning behind the statement is that in March a round of elections of major European nations is starting, with the Netherlands being first.
The EU official clarified that the International Monetary Fund will participate in the program, despite Greece’s expressed will for the contrary. He explained that non-participation of the Fund will create problems and substantial delays. The IMF board will meet within the next two weeks to discuss Greek debt sustainability.
Furthermore, in order to close the evaluation, Greece must take additional measures to reach fiscal targets. Measures that are suggested by the IMF and should be legislated upfront, and not contingency measures as Athens prefers. Also, the IMF pushes for structural reforms beyond 2018, the year the current program ends.
The EU official explained that since the Greek debt maturity reaches to 2060, debt sustainability must be assessed for the period after the current bailout program ends and parameters such as the performance of the economy, growth and the total amount of debt.
There are several pending issues that have caused negotiations to stall which include Labor market and pension system reforms, the privatization fund and progress of privatizations, the liberalization of the energy markets and some others. IMF pushes for these to be resolved as soon as possible.