Saturday

1st Oct 2016

Eurozone gives Greece 10-day ultimatum

  • Merkel and Samaris met in Berlin in August (Photo: primeminister.gov.gr)

Eurozone finance ministers have given Greece 10 days to implement budget cuts in return for a delayed bailout tranche.

"We stressed that before the next disbursement Greece clearly and credibly should demonstrate its commitment to fully implement the programme ... by the 18 October at the latest," said Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the eurozone finance ministers, on Monday (8 October).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He noted that most of the 89 "prior actions" - a list of budget cuts, privatisations, labour market and tax reforms agreed in March - had been agreed upon within the three-party coalition in Athens, but that no money could flow before everything is implemented.

The €31.5 billion tranche of bailout money has been delayed since June, awaiting a report by experts from the "troika" of international lenders - the EUuropean Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - who are still in Athens trying to figure out how to plug the widening gap in Greek finances.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde, during the same press conference, also said that "more work needs to be done" and that "acting means acting, not just speaking."

She denied reports that the IMF was at odds with the EU over Greece's debt sustainability scenario, a projection underlying the €130 billion bailout agreed in March, which assumes that debt-to-GDP will fall to 120 percent by 2020.

"There are no figures yet, the troika has not finalised its report," Lagarde said.

In a separate report issued Monday, the IMF warned of a possible worsening of the euro-crisis amid "rising social tensions and adjustment fatigue" in the "periphery" - meaning countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain where anti-austerity protests have intensified in recent weeks.

About 8,000 protesters took to the streets of Athens on Monday on the eve of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel shouting "Merkel raus [out]" and "Angela, go home."

Some 7,000 policemen are to be deployed during her six-hour visit to the Greek capital, with large parts of the city closed to protesters.

Merkel is on her first visit since Greece went bankrupt in 2009 and had to ask for two consecutive bailouts. Her visit is designed to show support for centre-right Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as he struggles to implement further austerity measures.

Blamed for most of Greece's woes in Greek press, Merkel has softened her stance in recent months.

But her message is likely to be more of the same: no money until the troika says the austerity measures are being implemented properly.

New EU rules on financial products in limbo

A feud between MEPs and the EU commission is threatening to derail financial services regulation that would protect consumers from misleading investment products.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFAEFA Supports a YES Vote in the Hungarian Referendum
  2. ACCAFinTech Boom Needs Strong Guidance to Navigate Regulatory Hurdles
  3. Counter BalanceWhy the Investment Plan for Europe Does not Drive the Sustainable Energy Transition
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region Seeks to Make Its Voice Heard in the World
  5. Taipei EU OfficeCountries Voice Support for Taiwan's Participation in ICAO
  6. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  7. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  8. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  9. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  10. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  11. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  12. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List