Greek PM Says Bailout Program Review Will be Completed on Time

Monday, February 6th, 2017
Last Update: 18:01

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday told reporters that uncertainty will end regarding the stalled negotiations over the bailout program review.

As the International Monetary Fund Board of Directors meets later on Monday, the Greek PM held a meeting with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas, State Minister Dimitris Tzanakopoulos and SYRIZA press representative Rania Sviggou to discuss the strategy to use in negotiations. Coming out of the meeting, Tsipras told reporters that uncertainty will end.

The IMF board decision whether to participate financially in Greece’s third bailout program or remain as an advisor will determine the Greek government’s next move. Even though in recent weeks Greek officials expressed the wish for the IMF to leave the program, in the last two days there is a change in attitude with government officials saying that the Fund can remain on an advisory level.

Meanwhile, in Brussels European institutions are concerned with Greece’s delay in implementing the bailout program prerequisites. Athens has admitted that only one third of measures and reforms are implemented, another third is about to be implemented shortly and the remaining one third is still subject to negotiations.

There is fear that the prolonged talks of Spring 2015 that brought Greece on the brink of exiting the euro zone seem likely to be repeated. Creditors’ representatives refuse to return to Athens and resume negotiations unless Greece legislates certain reforms and implements fiscal measures beyond 2018, when the current program ends.

Important issues remain pending, such as changes in labor market laws, pension system reforms and liberalization of the energy market. It is unlikely that the Greek government will implement the reforms soon enough to unblock talks.

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