Greek govt refers to staff level agreement in May, Eurogroup OK in June; leaks prospects of debt relief deal

Sunday, 22 April 2018 15:46
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The Greek government is reportedly aiming for an agreement, at the staff level, with creditors by the May 24 Eurogroup, with a subsequent Eurogroup meeting on June 21 to serve as the venue for a political decision by Eurozone finance ministers that concludes the fourth review of the current bailout.

The countdown towards the fourth and last review of the third consecutive memorandum program also includes the prospect - as far as Athens is concerned - for an agreement over additional debt relief measures, as well as the scope of continued supervision of the Greek state's finances by creditors.

The poll-trailing leftist-rightist coalition government desperately wants to present debt relief measures to a crisis-battered and tax-swamped Greek public opinion. Conversely, the once radical Tsipras government wants to avoid the semblance of continued strict supervision of the country in tandem with creditors' demands vis-a-vis fiscal policy and economic policy - but without the memorandum's guaranteed and low-interest credit line.

The latest "spin" emanating from the previously anti-memorandum government side in Athens is that the government considers the IMF's continued involvement in the Greek program as "desired" but not necessary.

According to an unnamed government official, described as "high-ranking", a similar process was followed with the utterly delayed third review of the ongoing program, in December 2017. A staff level agreement was achieved at the time, followed by a political decision in January 2018 and the eventual approval by the ESM for the disbursement of a 5.7-billion-euro loan tranche.

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