Eurozone official hopes for agreement by Monday
A top Eurozone official on Wednesday expressed the hope that Greek authorities and representatives of the institutions could reached an agreement by Monday, 9 November -when a scheduled Eurogroup meeting in Brussels will take place- to disburse the sub-installment of 2.0 billion euros to Greece.
“I hope that by Monday an agreement will be reached on the implementation of prior actions included in the first package of measures,” the official said here. Speaking to reporters, the official said that Greek authorities and the institutions were behind schedule on the implementation of the first package of reforms, but noted that “there is no reason for concern; we just have to speed up”. He noted that negotiations will focus next on agreeing on the reforms to be included in the second package of prior actions, which are linked with the sub-installment of 1.0 billion euros.
Commenting on the assessment of the first package of prior actions currently underway, the Eurozone official said the top issues still pending were house auctions, a VAT on education and minimum prices on generics. On the recapitalization process of Greek banks, the official said that the 10 billion euros that are already put in a special account of ESM for this purpose are adequate to cover any capital needs, and hinted that the additional 15 billion euros envisaged in the August 14 agreement might not be needed. However, he noted that disbursement of the 10 billion euros for Greek banks needed the implementation of the two packages of reform measures. This means that completion of the first assessment was not a precondition to begin a recapitalization process, the official said, adding it would be to everyone’s benefit that a recapitalization of Greek banks would have been completed before the Christmas holidays.
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