DM points to goal of ratifying latest agreement with creditors by April 16

28 March 2017
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The latest “unofficial deadline” for concluding the now utterly delayed second review of the Greek program (third bailout) was given by the controversial defense minister on Tuesday, who pointed to the April 7 Eurogroup meeting as the date for completing negotiations and ratification before Orthodox Easter, i.e. April 16.

Minister Panos Kammenos, who is also the junior partner of the current government coalition and the leader of the small rightist-populist Independent Greeks’ (AN.EL) party, made the statement on television. During the same appearance, the outspoken Kammenos blamed the year-long delay in concluding the review on German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble and IMF Europe director Poul Thomsen.

The latter have often been portrayed over past years by Greek politicians and the local press as the “bogeymen” in often faltering negotiations between Greek governments and institutional creditors.
In directly commenting on ongoing negotiations, Kammenos called creditors’ demands for a partial sell-off of the power utility’s production units as “excessive”, while estimating that talks are in a “positive direction”, based on a briefing he’s had from the prime minister, as he maintained.

Fresh from a visit to the United States and a series of events commemorating Greek Independence Day (March 25), as well as a photo opportunity at the
White House with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of such a ceremony, Kammenos opined that “Greece can be the epicenter of the world”. He based the quip on the country’s geopolitical position and energy cooperation with regional countries, such as Israel, the UAE, Egypt and Cyprus.
“Only America can help us,” he added.

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