The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Only the issue of the restructuring of the defence companies has to be resolved before the payment of the 1 billion euro tranche

06 December 2013 / 18:12:03  GRReporter
3666 reads

The representatives of the supervisory Troika will probably return to Athens next week as, according to sources from Brussels, the positions regarding three of the four requirements set have been brought closer in recent days and the only unresolved issue has remained the restructuring of the military enterprises.

In this case, the same sources believe that the tranche of 1 billion euro that has been uncertain since July could be paid as soon as an agreement on the enterprises of the defence industry is reached.

However, the talks will last for a long time, probably until after the holidays, as the parties have to agree on a number of hot issues such as the sale of mortgaged houses of debtors to banks, the mass layoffs in the private sector as well as the gap in the budget for 2014.

The outstanding issues also involve disagreements concerning the imposition of the single property tax since the Troika is afraid of the loss of revenue.

In other words, the talks with the lenders’ representatives will take place in two stages.

The first stage will examine the extent to which Greece has met the requirements set in the summer in order for it to receive the 1 billion euro tranche and the second stage will concern the implementation of the structural indicators related to the payment of the larger tranche of 4.9 billion euro.

Probable return

A senior eurozone official mentioned in Brussels the probability of the Troika returning to Athens next week. He, however, declined to comment on the possible development of the negotiations on important issues such as the budget gap for 2014 or the sale of mortgaged houses of debtors to banks.

According to him, the meeting of the Εurogroup on Monday which will not discuss controversial issues will concern the Greek programme and, in particular, the recent developments in connection with the unresolved problems within the context of the third and fourth assessment.

"As you know, the Troika left Athens, but at some point, which I think will come next week and I am saying this based on published information, the representatives of the lenders will return to continue the negotiations in close cooperation with the Greek authorities", said the senior official.

In response to a question about the requirements already set and the decision of July, he states that there is disagreement only on one issue, namely the restructuring of the military enterprises, noting that "when the Greek authorities assure us that they have fulfilled their obligations we will be able to decide on the payment of the1 billion euro tranche."

The payment of the tranche

The payment of the specific tranche does not require another decision on the part of the Εurogroup as the one of July is still in force. The working group of the euro zone must only make sure that the requirements have been met and, then subsequently, it must order the European Financial Stability Facility to transfer the amount.

Let us recall that the other three requirements include the mobility of the public sector and the cuts of its employees, the payment of outstanding duties by the state to the water supply companies in Athens and Thessaloniki, and the new attorney code.

In connection with this fourth assessment, the same senior official spared his words, only stating that the meeting of the Εurogroup will discuss the issue but, as there is no progress in terms of the budget gap, he is unable to forecast the duration of the negotiations.

At the same time, he denies the publications in Greece that a videoconference on the issue of the sale of the mortgaged houses of debtors to banks will take place between the government and the lenders.

How long will the lenders’ representatives stay?

The return of the lenders’ representatives is the result of diplomatic actions following the visit of Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Brussels and his meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, but it does not necessarily mean an agreement on the next instalment.

In this situation, it is not clear how long the leaders of the Troika will stay in Athens since reaching an agreement on all unresolved issues before the holidays seems difficult, if not impossible.

However, the probable payment of the 1 billion euro tranche will alleviate the tension between the Greek government and the Troika, while opening another round of issues related to the requirements for the payment of the sum of 4.9 billion euro.

At the same time, the position of the government is becoming even more difficult due to the reactions of lawmakers from the two parties involved in the ruling coalition, who are threatening to vote against any new measures and regulations.

The crucial point is that the government should decide as soon as possible, i.e. within the next few days, on the issue of the defence enterprises.

It seems that the Troika disagrees with the government's plans to liquidate the companies while allowing them to function and insists on their immediate closure. However, it could agree if the number of redundant employees increases, if the enterprises continue to shrink their activities and if the recovery of their profitability is guaranteed.

Requirements for December

Assuming that the parties have reached an agreement on the requirements set in July, they will open another folder of requirements for December, which will include the following issues:

Tags: Supervisory TroikaMeetingsUnresolved issuesMemorandumCuts
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus