Greek PM Changes Course, Ready to Back Down on Debt Relief Issue

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Last Update: 13:10

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared to change his narrative regarding debt relief and seems ready to accept the creditors’ position that the debt issue will be discussed again after the end of the current bailout program in the summer of 2018.

Addressing Greek industrialists on Wednesday evening in Thessaloniki, Tsipras used a new rhetoric, without using debt relief as the main objective in order to bring Greece out of the economic crisis.

The prime minister’s new narrative is that Greece aims at borrowing from the markets after August 2018, when the current bailout program expires.

In order to achieve this goal, he said, Greece must secure a debt deal like the one presented by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the Eurogroup on Monday, which stipulated that the International Monetary Fund should join the bailout program, but without contributing financially before the end of the program. This proposal was rejected by Greece on Monday. However, based on the words of the prime minister, there is a turn and now Tsipras seems to be considering the Schaeuble proposal.

The German finance minister also proposed that the discussion of debt relief measures should be deferred until after Germany goes to the polls in September.

Analysts say that Tsipras changed course in fear that further delays would also delay Greece’s inclusion in the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing mechanism, which would in turn open the way for Greece to access international markets.

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