Two seemingly unconnected events became linked on Sunday when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to put off his decision to nominate a successor to President Karolos Papoulias until Tuesday, several hours after a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.
In a sign that Greece and its lenders may be moving closer to an agreement, Greek officials and representatives of the troika are due to begin technical work on Friday to prepare for Monday’s Eurogroup.
As the dust settles from Wednesday’s inconclusive Eurogroup, it is difficult to assess with certainty whether events in Brussels leave Greece and the eurozone closer or further from an agreement.
As expected, Wednesday's Eurogroup failed to result in an agreement for Greece and the eurozone but the gap between the two sides was emphasised by the absence of a joint statement at the end of the meeting.
The Greek government goes into Wednesday night’s crucial, but not definitive, Eurogroup meeting buoyed by a number of domestic factors.
Understandably, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out his government’s policy programme on Sunday, all the attention has fallen on whether Greece will be able to reach an agreement with its lenders, starting with Wednesday’s Eurogroup.
One day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s presented his government’s policy programme in Parliament, the Finance Ministry has been briefing journalists on what will be the four pillars of Greece’s proposal to the Eurogroup on Wednesday.
Despite expectations that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would moderate his goals when announcing his government’s policy programme in Parliament on Sunday, the Greek leader’s stuck almost rigidly to his pre-election pledges, many of which run counter to the policies that the country’s lenders would like to see.
There seems to be some unnecessary confusion surrounding what position Greece will take at the extra Eurogroup meeting on Wednesday, February 11.
A meeting between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin on Thursday failed to result in any agreement but underlined the SYRIZA-led coalition’s determination to reject the option of extending the current bailout.