The Greek government on Saturday evening announced that it reached a staff-level agreement with creditors’ top auditors, who arrived in Athens this past week to conclude the fourth – and last – review of the ongoing bailout. The third consecutive bailout ends in August 2018.
Greek FinMin Euclid Tsakalotos first announced the development, which was then confirmed by the creditors’ representatives. He said the agreement will be ratified by Eurozone finance ministers at this Thursday’s Eurogroup group meeting, where he also said the “latest” developments regarding Greek debt relief are expected.
Without going into details, he merely added that on some issues the Greek side had to “water down its wine”, a euphemism for backing down, slightly.
“One part of the puzzle, the staff-level agreement has taken its course. On Thursday we’ll have more information on the debt, namely, how discussions between the Europeans and the IMF are going. On June 21, post-memorandum supervision will be discussed,” the Greek minister said, adding:
“We believe thorny issues were solved in a satisfactory manner for the Greek side. Obviously on certain issues we had to ‘water down our wine’, but in general I consider that discussion was very productive and substantive. I am pleased on most points.”
According to a statement issued in Athens by institutional creditors: “… a staff-level agreement has been reached on a package of reforms required for the successful completion of the 4th review of the European Stability Mechanism programme. This agreement will be presented to the Eurogroup of 24 May 2018… The Greek authorities aim to implement these measures as swiftly as possible in advance of the Eurogroup of 21 June 2018. To this end, intensive exchanges between the Institutions and the Greek authorities will continue in the coming weeks.”