The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) published a report last week that assessed sovereign vulnerabilities in the five eurozone countries that had received bailout loans.
The expansionary counter-measures designed to balance the new fiscal interventions that Greece will have to implement, initially outlined by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos at a press conference after Friday’s Eurogroup, were detailed in a report published by the Athens News Agency (AMNA) on Sunday.
Following a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday evening between representatives from the institutions and the Greek government, a compromise agreement on the fiscal measures beyond 2018 appears to be on the table.
The Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) held on Thursday night did not give the green light for the return of the institutions’ mission chiefs to Athens.
With all indications suggesting that the Greek government and the institutions are close to reaching an agreement at technical level, there has been much speculation about how several issues that were proving contentious until recently have been, or will be, resolved.
The Development Ministry tabled on Tuesday to Parliament’s legislative committee the draft bill on the out-of-court workout, which is also directly linked to the resolution of non-performing loans (NPLs).
Monday’s Eurogroup in Brussels proved inconclusive as far as the Greek review is concerned but did result in some hope that efforts to conclude the review would intensify in the coming days.
Greece and its lenders head into Monday’s Eurogroup with differences on several key issues that will have to be resolved if the second review is to conclude in the days ahead.
Speaking to Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Thursday that the agreement with the institutions would be difficult but would also have “positive surprises,” which could pave the way for QE from the European Central Bank and lead to sustained growth.
One of the key issues still to be resolved in the ongoing negotiations between the Greek government and the institutions relates to the International Monetary Fund’s demand for a reduction in the tax-free threshold with the aim of securing additional revenues of 1 percent of GDP (1.8 billion euros) as of 2019.