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Athens is talking about the debt, not implementing reforms

02 October 2015 / 13:10:38  GRReporter
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The Greek Prime Minister's visit to New York is over and he is expected to be back in Athens later today. In his final statements to Greek reporters shortly before boarding the aircraft Alexis Tsipras defined it as a success, pointing out, "Greece has performed a dynamic comeback on the international stage. We have managed to internationalize the problem of public debt."

The Greek Prime Minister also said, "the position of the Fund on debt sustainability was confirmed" during the workshop of Minister of Economy George Stathakis with Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde in Washington. At the same time, he added that the actions that creditors require from the Greek cabinet would not delay the start of a discussion on debt relief. "We are determined to act fast and complete the monitoring (on the part of the representatives of creditors - editor’s note) over the next three weeks. So far the negative forecasts of delaying the discussion on debt settlement have not been confirmed," said Tsipras, immediately adding, "There is often no correlation between the intentions of creditors and those of their technical teams. We have seen it happening among the IMF representatives."

"No one has an interest in delaying the debt negotiations for the time being. Neither we nor Europe," said Tsipras and stated that "there are still extreme conservative circles that are obsessed with Grexit."

According to the Greek media, however, the European creditors exclude the possibility of haircutting the Greek debt, intending to soften the position of the IMF that it is not sustainable by providing a greater deferral for the payment of previous and new loans, as well as a grace period.

At the same time, according to a publication of the German newspaper Spiegel, the IMF is seriously concerned over the progress of reforms as the Greek government has carried out only a fraction of the laws voted in August.

Sources of the Fund referred to by the newspaper stress that two-thirds of the reforms are not even in the initial phase of implementation. "There is a pressing need to catch up with the delay due to early elections. The omissions on the part of the Greeks have turned upside down the general time frame of the third bailout. The monitoring of the current bailout that is scheduled for October could be completed as late as December," the newspaper notes. In parallel, it stresses that the Greek government may have financial difficulties again by then if it runs out of the funds available to it.

At the end, the publication states, "There is talk in the IMF that the 3 billion euro of the first tranche of the rescue package of 26 billion euro should not have been granted because of the lack of progress in reforms. The discussions about the possible Greek debt relief are postponed for the end of the year due to the delay in implementing the reforms."

The Greek media report that the government is intensively preparing to specify the list of measures it is planning to implement over the next 40 days in order for the technical teams of creditors to complete the monitoring within this period. The success of this initiative is very controversial because, according to European sources, those are about 50 measures, some of which should have been implemented by 15 September and another part by 15 October. The issue will be discussed at today's teleconference meeting of the Euroworking Group.


Tags: PoliticsGreek governmentThird bailoutDelayed reformsSettling the Greek public debtCreditors
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