Wednesday

23rd May 2018

Germany stalls Greek bailout money

Germany is stalling the payment of a €2.5 billion bailout tranche to Greece, pending further job cuts in the public sector.

The tranche was supposed to have been paid earlier this month, but Athens will likely have to wait another week untill all 22 "prior actions" are met and the Bundestag gives its blessing.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Greece is waiting for a €2.5 billion tranche (Photo: Constantine Gerontis)

"There is a preliminary report by the troika, saying that most prior actions are met, but some are still outstanding," Hans Joachim Narzynski, a spokesman for the German finance ministry said Wednesday (24 July) in a press conference.

He said the final troika report is expected "very soon", with the Greek parliament set to adopt one last measure on Thursday related to further public sector cuts.

Some 4,200 public sector workers, including teachers and doctors, will be put in a "labour mobility scheme", which should be boosted to 12,500 by September and another 12,500 in December.

A teleconference between eurozone finance officials took place on Wednesday and another one will be called on Thursday, but a final green light is not expected before 29 July, after the relevant committee in the Bundestag gives its approval.

The €2.5 billion are only part of a larger tranche of €6.8 billion which Greece should receive by end October. Eurozone finance ministers earlier this month decided to break the tranche into several parts and link each of them to precise cuts and privatisations.

A few hundred doctors and nurses protested in Athens on Wednesday against the planned job cuts, as the capital's six major hospitals are to be merged and reduced in size.

Trade unions also staged a 24-hour strike against the troika-imposed measures, in a country where three years of austerity and recession have also seen violent clashes with police.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble visited Athens last week in a bid to soothe the anger of the Greek people against what they see as a German-imposed austerity diktat.

"This visit is an expression of our confidence in, and support for Greece. I have not come as a teacher to give lessons," he said back then.

But without Athens fulfilling all the promised cuts, Schaeuble is not willing to give his green light to the disbursement of further money.

German finance minister visits angry Greece

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is due in Athens Thursday just as the Greek parliament, amid large street protests, passed a bill that will see thousands of public sector jobs cut.

Greek MPs unlock bailout tranche

Greece has fulfilled the last of the conditions it needs to secure the latest tranche of bailout money, putting an end to weeks of internal dispute on austerity.

EU pessimistic on permanent US trade exemption

EU trade chief said the US will impose tariffs or "other limiting measures" on 1 June, as the EU's offer to start limited trade talks is probably not enough for the protectionist Trump presidency.

Commission 'playing tricks' with EU budget figures

The EU parliament's budget rapporteur complained the Commission is using numbers with a "desire to confuse". According to parliament estimates, the cohesion fund could suffer as much as a 45 percent cut.

Analysis

EU has no 'magic bullet' against US Iran sanctions

EU leaders in Sofia will discuss how they can protect the bloc's economic interests against US threats to sanction companies doing business in Iran. But their options are limited.

Opinion

EU budget must not fortify Europe at expense of peace

Given the European Commission new budget's heavy focus on migration, border management and security, many are asking whether the proposal will fortify Europe at the expense of its peace commitments.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. Feeble EU format deflates Zuckerberg 'hearing'
  2. Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?
  3. EU pessimistic on permanent US trade exemption
  4. US asks EU to go after Russian and African villains
  5. Facebook threatened with removal from EU-US data pact
  6. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of advice to EU
  7. Athens mayor wants direct access to EU migration fund
  8. Nordics could be first carbon-negative region in world