BUSINESS

Talks deadline set for November 15

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Finance

The vice president of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, issued a clear message to Athens that the first review of the new bailout program must be completed by November 15 so as not to create any problems to the critical bank recapitalization process.

Although there is no set date for the arrival of the heads of the creditors’ representation, Dombrovskis made sure that everyone was reminded of the deadline for the completion of the talks, linking the review with the bank recap.

The next three weeks will be the most difficult in the three-year period covered by the bailout agreement signed last month: Not only will the government have to complete the prior actions required for the payment of the August tranche, but it will also have to start the first review and then ensure that the recap is at an advanced stage by November 15.

“Greece is facing tight deadlines as the eurozone finance ministers will have to approve the disbursement of the installment of the first assessment up to November 15,” Dombrovskis told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

The third bailout program is front-loaded, with more than 50 percent of measures to be taken within the first three months, and the rest in the remaining two-and-a-half years. “Currently, I would say that things are more or less on track, so it’s important that Greek authorities stick with their commitments,” Dombrovskis said, stressing that the recap of the four systemic banks is tied to the third bailout program worth 86 billion euros.

He added that it is too early to discuss the separation of the bank targets from the objectives of the bailout program, thereby making it clear that the first review cannot be completed without the bank recap having been secured.

“Greece needs to rebuild trust with its euro-area partners and in many countries this first review is seen as an important indicator,” the Commission’s vice president said, increasing the pressure on the Greek government to prove it is determined to implement its commitments within schedule.

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