Eurozone Finance Ministers will discuss the Greek bailout programme when they meet on Monday. The Eurogroup will be informed of the completion of the last two prior actions of the third review, allowing for the disbursement of the next bailout loan tranche to Athens (EUR 5.7 billion). Debt relief and the post-bailout arrangement for Greece will not be discussed on Monday.
Greece’s creditor institutions will also brief the Eurogroup of developments during the first round of talks as part of the fourth and final review of the Greek programme. It is believed that European creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism – are pleased with negotiations so far, with the aim being to conclude the fourth review swiftly.
The swift implementation of the 88 prior actions included in the 4th review will pave the way for talks to begin on the post-bailout arrangement for Greece, including the amount of fiscal and economic surveillance, long-term debt relief and safeguarding Greece’s access to debt markets. The amount of the final bailout loan tranche Athens will receive is also up for debate.
Amongst the thorniest issues to be discussed during the course of the final review before the expiry of the bailout programme in August 2018, is the need to reduce the tax-free threshold a year earlier than agreed implementation in 2020. This will largely depend on the fiscal side of the review and the meeting of set targets.
Creditors are expected to return to Athens after a crucial International Monetary Fund Spring Meeting in Washington, at the beginning of May. The meeting will determined the Fund’s participation in the Greek program and developments related to debt relief.
June is another crucial month ahead of the program’s expiry as a “holistic agreement” at a scheduled Eurogroup meeting should have been struck by then, in order for the country to exit the bailout programme…/IBNA