Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos admitted in Parliament on Thursday that there would be “winners and losers” from any agreement the government reaches with its lenders on the measures and counter-measures needed to conclude the review but did not provide further details.
The government’s efforts to lay to rest any concerns within the coalition about the agreement with Greece’s lenders began in earnest on Tuesday, when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos addressed SYRIZA’s political committee.
The Greek government has wasted no time in rolling out its strategy for ensuring the passage of measures being discussed with the lenders and the conclusion of the drawn-out second review.
Monday’s Eurogroup culminated in an agreement for the institutions to return to Athens in the coming days, which was probably the most positive development that could have been expected at the start of the day but also leaves a lot of ground to be covered in the coming weeks.
Expectations are relatively low for Monday’s Eurogroup, with the most that can be expected being an initial agreement between Greece and the institutions on the basic elements needed in order for the review to be completed.
There was a distinctly domestic flavour to the exchange between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Parliament on Friday, perhaps reflecting the limbo in which negotiations between the government and its lenders currently find themselves.
A trade-off between the fiscal measures being demanded by the institutions and steps aimed at lightening the burden on taxpayers appear to be the main focus of the Greek government at the moment.
The visit of Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici to Athens on Wednesday appeared to provide the Greek government with some comfort about the possibility of an agreement being reached between Greece and its lenders.
There was no official response from Athens on Monday to the proposal made by the institutions to the Greek government and it now seems there will be no movement on the issue until European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has visited the Greek capital on Wednesday.
Athens did not hide over the weekend its disappointment with the proposal made by the institutions on Friday but still appears focussed on trying to get a deal it considers politically viable.