Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

Greece hopes to get next bailout tranche

Greek officials are hoping to get a green light from eurozone finance ministers on Monday (8 July) on the country's next bailout tranche, but a final decision is likely to be postponed by a few more weeks.

Seven days of talks between the Greek government and the troika of international creditors concluded without a final report being filed on Sunday.

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  • (Photo: Constantine Gerontis)

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the assessment will probably be finalised before the euro ministers meet in Brussels on Monday.

“I’m optimistic that we will close a deal,” he said on Sunday in Athens.

The head of the International Monetary Fund's mission in Greece, Poul Thomsen, also spoke of "very good progress" and hoped an agreement could be concluded Monday morning.

But even with a troika deal, German officials are likely to ask for more time to study Greek compliance measures being before signing off on the entire €8.1 billion tranche.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports the tranche could be released in several payments over the next two-three months, depending on how successful the Greek government is in firing 4,000 public sector workers by the end of the year and putting a further 12,500 on administrative leave with reduced wages.

An attempt to slash 2,600 jobs by closing down the country's public broadcaster, ERT, resulted in international outrage and prompted one party to leave the ruling coalition.

The government also failed to privatise the national gas company, Depa, a measure that was part of the troika's plan to reduce the Greek debt.

According to Greek media, the troika has agreed to reduce the target from privatisations to €1.6 billion this year and to raise another €1 billion from sell-offs next year, with the gas company to be sold in 2014.

EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said the disbursement of more bailout money "really depends on Greece and whether it is able to ensure that all the milestones will be met.”

Portugal

Eurozone finance ministers will also look at Portugal, after the coalition government of Pedro Passos Coehlo narrowly avoided collapse following a general strike and the resignation of two ministers over austerity measures.

Coelho has struck a deal with his Conservative coalition partner, the CDS party, by appointing its leader Paulo Portas as vice premier in charge of economic policy co-ordination and relations with the troika.

“Portugal will continue to have a stable and determined government to solve the country’s serious problems,” Coelho said in Lisbon on Saturday.

“We want to complete the aid program by the dates that have been set. We want to create the conditions for a new economic cycle.”

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