Technical details of bailout review in focus

Technical details of bailout review in focus

An expected meeting between Greek government ministers and the heads of the country’s creditor institutions did not go ahead on Wednesday as, according to a senior government official, there was much work to be done at technical level.

Negotiations will continue at least until the end of the week. Talks focus on ironing out technical details included in draft agreements.

Despite the fact that there now appears to be some alignment of all parties involved as regards the timeline for the review’s conclusion, disagreements regarding the content remain.

According to latest information, the Greek side has expressed a few objections regarding privatizations and has requested the rewording of the draft agreements. The government is said to have requested the exclusion of certain state-run enterprises from the portfolio of the new privatization “hyper-fund”.

The Greek government spokesman said on Wednesday that he was confident unresolved issues will be overcome during talks this week. In comments to a radio station, spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said negotiations are continuing and pointed to a possible comprehensive agreement at a May 22 Eurogroup meeting.

The specifying of Greek debt relief measures is complexing matters at the moment. Berlin appears to insist that the conclusion of the review and the tranche disbursement should take place first before any agreement on debt is reached. The Greek government has been trying to get a comprehensive deal including debt relief.

Meanwhile, European Commissioner for Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, sided with the Greek government on the expressed need for debt relief. Moscovici said in a speech in Brussels on Wednesday that Greece has made “impressive fiscal progress” and spoke against the prospect of any country ever dropping out of the euro.

Greece aims to return to bond markets immediately after concluding the latest bailout review. “Our aim is to conclude the bailout review and immediately after that to return to markets,” Tsipras told ANT1 TV on Tuesday, adding that the country’s return to bond markets must be “sustainable” and not a “one-off.”/IBNA