Lenders conclude 'productive' talks on fifth review but issues remain as Athens targets fiscal space
The fifth post-programme surveillance review was completed on Friday following three days of talks between the Greek authorities and the heads of the institutions in Athens that were preceded by a week of discussions with the technical teams during the previous week.
Greece’s fifth enhanced surveillance review formally kicked off on Wednesday when the heads of mission started their meetings with the Greek authorities, following a week of preparatory work by the technical teams.
Greek government officials are due to begin meetings with the institutions’ mission chiefs on Wednesday as part of the fifth enhanced surveillance review, which Athens hopes will pave the way for its three fiscal demands to be met later this year.
Monday’s Eurogroup in Brussels will provide the first opportunity for the Greek government to sound out European officials regarding its efforts to create more fiscal space, while discussions will continue in Athens this week regarding the fifth enhanced surveillance review.
The Greek authorities left yesterday’s Eurogroup having secured the release of the profits that eurozone central banks made as part of the SMP and ANFA programmes.
Wednesday’s Eurogroup is expected to result in eurozone finance ministers approving the conclusion of the fourth enhanced surveillance review and the next round of debt relief measures, but will not include a discussion on how Greece can use the bond profits it will receive.
The Greek Finance Ministry announced on Monday that the process of prepaying some of the outstanding obligations to the IMF has been completed after Athens paid ahead of time 2.7 billion euros.
Greece’s debt sustainability was assessed again by the two main institutions tasked with the analysis of the viability of the country’s debt, the IMF as part of the Article IV consultation process published last week and the European Commission in the fourth post-programme review released on Wednesday.
Greece’s new government managed to successfully clear on Wednesday the first major approval hurdle in its brief tenure as the European Commission (EC) published the fourth post-programme surveillance report, concluding that Greece has taken all the necessary steps to meet its mid-2019 commitments.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued on Friday its latest Article IV consultation report for Greece and its assessment of the condition and prospects of the Greek economy.