Negotiations between Greece and its foreign lenders regarding a possible lightening of Greece's debt load and its fiscal program for 2015 and 2016 will begin in the summer, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Friday.
Athens had hoped those talks could begin in the spring, once the European Commission's statistics service Eurostat has corroborated Greece's prediction of a primary surplus. Rehn's comments, however, suggested that there would be no talks until after European Parliament elections scheduled for May. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had hoped for a launch to talks on debt relief before the European
elections which coincide with Greek local authority polls.
As for Greece's stalled progress in negotiations with the troika on its economic reform program, Rehn suggested that the ball was in Greece's court. «Greece needs to do its homework,» he said. He said the current review, which has been suspended three times since September, would be completed «in the next few months."