There was no tangible outcome from the three days of talks between Greek ministers and representatives of the institutions in Brussels but there are indications that some progress was made, allowing talks to continue in the coming days.
The lack of information emerging from the negotiations between Greek ministers and the institutions in Brussels means that the political focus is on domestic developments, pending further news from the Belgian capital.
In the absence of any tangible developments from the ongoing talks in Brussels, fringe issues have dominated the political agenda in Greece since Monday.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is to meet with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres in New York on Wednesday in an apparent move to seek ways for the stalled talks to begin again soon.
As talks between Greek government officials and the country’s lenders continue in Brussels following Monday’s Eurogroup, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can see a clear path to Greece’s exit from the bailout programme and the crisis but, given the obstacles in the way, there is also a good chance that things will not be that straightforward.
The Greek government goes into Monday’s Eurogroup hoping that there will not be a falling out with the lenders (worst case) but that enough common ground will be found so that the institutions can return to Athens to conclude the second review (best case).
A trip by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias to Washington this week provided an opportunity for the Greek government to exchange views with the US administration but did not necessarily clear up the doubts about Washington’s stance on a range of issues that are of particular interest to Athens.
The Greek government swiftly dismissed unsubstantiated rumours on Thursday morning about Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras preparing to call snap elections but it is clear that as long as there is no significant progress in its talks with the institutions such speculation will intensify.
There have been no visible signs of major progress in the discussions between Greece and its lenders this week, suggesting that the best-case scenario would be the conclusion of a staff-level agreement ahead of the April 7 Eurogroup rather than the one on March 20.
A comment by Interior Minister Panos Skourletis on Monday regarding the need for any agreement with the institutions to be approved by a qualified majority in Parliament has revived speculation about the possibility of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggling to convince his MPs to support the deal.