Brussels estimates that the Greek bailout review may take months

13 February 2016
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A report by the MNI news agency, which cites an unnamed high ranking EU officer, suggests that the review of the Greek bailout program may take months.

In relation to the negotiations between Greek authorities and the institutions (EC, ESM, ECB and IMF) the EU officer commented that there is still a significant distance to cover. The source also noted that the institutions will not return to Athens unless there are specific proposals and that the negotiations may take ‘months’.

The EU officer further commented that he does not expect Greece to have any real funding needs until June, at which point Greece is due to make a payment for 3.5 billion euros, which includes 2.3 billion euros worth of bonds held by the ECB.

As such it is imperative to complete the review by June, so there is time to pay debts due in July and avoid a bankruptcy. This urgency is also reflected in recent statements by the Minister of Finances Euclid Tsakalotos, who commented that Greece will be ‘in trouble’ if the review does not conclude in February.

According to the EU official cited in the report, the operation of the new privatization fund is critical for completing the bailout review and the Eurozone members. He also argued that there has been progress in the pension system reform proposal and emphasized the importance of establishing a system that will not be a burden on the formal sector of the economy.

Regarding the possibility of additional measures being introduced in 2016, the source explained that it has been agreed that the measures taken will amount to 1% of the GDP. He added that Greek authorities and the institutions have agreed to work on the 2016 budget.

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