ELSTAT’s confirmation on Friday that the 2016 primary surplus was well in excess of the agreed target appears to have given the government a boost for the time being.
Greece’s delegation of ministers is due to head to Washington for the International Monetary Fund’s Spring Meetings on Thursday, hoping that it will return with at least confirmation that the IMF and the eurozone are on the same page regarding debt relief.
The Greek political scene is going through a brief lull as Parliament waits to vote on the measures the government is due to finalise with the lenders in the coming days, but New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was called into action this week amid minor unrest in his party.
Following the Easter break, the Greek government’s attention will be on two main issues: Completing the review so a “global deal” can be concluded before the end of May and trying to shift the focus domestically away from the new measures and onto more positive interventions by the coalition.
Talks between Greece and its lenders are heading for a brief break over the Easter weekend but are due to resume with some urgency next week, when debt relief is expected to dominate the agenda.
Comments by International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde regarding the debt relief that the eurozone will provide Greece have shed further the light on the discussions that lie ahead but also on the form that the domestic political debate will take.
The International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings due later this month are emerging as the next key juncture in the road towards the conclusion of the second programme review.
After the decision by some members of SYRIZA’s central committee to voice their objections on Sunday to the deal with the Greece’s lenders, focus is turning to the party’s parliamentary group and whether Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should expect any nasty surprises.
SYRIZA’s central committee voted in favour of the agreement reached between the government and its lenders, helping Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras clear one of the domestic hurdles he faced following Friday’s settlement in Malta.
Friday’s Eurogroup in Malta resulted in Greece and the institutions reaching an agreement in principle that paves the way for the missions to return to Athens and a staff-level agreement (SLA) to be secured.