Talks between banks and the Greek government on the primary residence protection framework are due to continue this week, with the latter being left under no illusions by its European lenders that it will have to move quickly on this and a number of other issues over the next few weeks if the March 11 Eurogroup is to give the green light for further debt relief measures.
Although Greece is not on the agenda for Monday’s Eurogroup, the meeting will provide Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos with the chance to discuss with the country’s lenders a range of issues related to the post-bailout commitments the government has to complete.
The institutions have put on record their concern about the delays from the Greek side regarding the implementation of the post-MoU reforms just as Athens pledged that it will be ready to legislate a new framework for the protection of primary residences by the end of the month.
An uncomfortable Euro Working Group meeting last week has left Athens with much to do in the coming days as it seeks to obtain the green light for the disbursement of the ANFA and SMP bond profits in March.
The government is preparing to announce a new minimum wage and the scrapping of the sub-minimum salary for under-25s, just days after talks with the institutions regarding the second post-programme review concluded in Athens.
Discussions between the Greek government and the institutions were due to draw to a close on Thursday, leaving Athens with 2-3 weeks to complete the 16 reforms that are pending as part of the second review of the post-programme era.
The second review of the enhanced surveillance period is due to get underway in earnest on Tuesday, when the institutions’ mission chiefs are expected to hold their first meeting of the year in Athens with government officials.
As Greece approaches the six-month mark after officially exiting its final bailout programme, the government’s to-do list still remains substantial.
Another court decision on backpay has revived fears that in the months to come the Greek government could be facing an additional spending outlay that may threaten to derail plans to maintain a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP until 2022.
Speaking at the Capital Link Forum in New York on Tuesday, a day after European Commission official Declan Costello had issued another reminder that Athens must ensure it completes its pending reforms on time, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos appeared confident that there would not be any delays.