The procedures for completing the third evaluation go faster than usual. According to reliable sources, at the end of February and especially on February 26, the heads of institutions are expected in Athens. Initial planning included getting closer to mid-March, but all sides seem to wish to complete all pending issues within a specific timetable. According to the new programme, which came as a result of the EWG meeting, the technical teams will be the first to arrive after the Eurogroup meeting on February 19.
According to EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a fourth memorandum will not exist. His own statements show that the appropriate formula for the post-bailout period is being pursued without the existence of a precautionary credit line, while the debt equalisation has begun to… be resolved without being clear when the process will be completed.
A first technical discussion took place at the EuroWorkingGroup meeting this afternoon, and according to the plan, debt decisions are set to close at the Eurogroup in March, although this decision might also be made sometime until June.
Moskovishi and Tzanakopoulos on the debt
Government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Thursday that “we know very well that the country’s gross financing needs for the medium term should not exceed 15% of the GDP. So, all governments and any other side which is part of this negotiation, institutions, should precisely ensure that this limit of 15% of the country’s gross financing needs, is respected. That is, in addition to political will and legal obligation. Meanwhile, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovisi, speaking at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for Culture, on Thursday, argued that it is “unsustainable, criminalises the country and needs to be reduced. Short-term measures have been taken and long term measures are needed, but there is something that, to tell the truth, will not happen. Debt write-off. There is no country to agree on the opposite”. He then said that there are three conditions to regulate the debt: a Greek development strategy to be defined by the Greek government, a mechanism to monitor the implementation of reforms after the end of the programme, specifying that they will be different and a series of measures for the debt.
The development plan
Looking ahead, apart from the completion of the 88 prerequisites, decisions should be made with the agreement of all the parties involved, on the type of the post-bailout era, the further debt relief and the Greek holistic developmental strategic plan drafted by the government.
At the same time, the Greek government will process the development plan for the coming years – according to Euclid Tsakalotos’s statements, will be presented before Easter.
Planning dictates the composition of all jigsaw pieces on June 21, at the last Eurogroup before the summer break, two months prior to the formal end of the third ESM programme. Pierre Moscovici said that this is when a “global deal” is pursued.
“On June 21, the Eurogroup will decide that we are able to leave the memoranda,” Moskovici said, stressing that there should be no complacency and that Greece should continue to implement the reforms. “We must not stay behind in the last bit of the way,” noted from the Niarchos Foundation.
The Development Bank
The French commissioner met also with Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou and Deputy Minister Alexis Charitsis. After the meeting he said: “We talked with Minister Papadimitriou about the next steps that must be taken in order to be able to successfully exit the programme. For me, the key is that growth is maintained, that Greece is creating its own tools, so that it has its own Greek strategy and among these tools is the creation of a National Development Bank as it exists in other countries”. Lastly, talking about the development programme, he added, “I feel relieved by what has already been done, by the fact that the progress of work is in the right direction. We agreed with Mr Papadimitriou that we will work together to ensure that this Greek development strategy is convincing, shared by all and consensual.”…/IBNA