Gov’t reform speed dents EU trust

TAGS: Economy, Politics

The government is faced with an uphill battle over the next four months as it strives to legislate highly unpopular measures to secure a desperately needed subtranche of 2.8 billion euros in bailout funding from the country’s increasingly impatient creditors.

Moreover, it must complete the second review of its third international bailout to pave the way for its stated aim to start debt-restructuring talks by the end of the year.

Meanwhile in Brussels, officials are again reportedly voicing concern as Greece has yet to implement most of the prior actions it had agreed to, fueling the reluctance of EU states to discuss debt relief for Greece – a key government demand.

With its poll figures lagging, the SYRIZA-led administration has banked on starting debt relief discussions by the end of the year as a consolation prize of sorts to offset its hugely unpopular spending cuts.

And with the prevailing uncertainty compounded by the unresolved question of whether the International Monetary Fund will be involved in the bailout, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s aim to announce measures – albeit limited ones – to help those hardest hit by the crisis appears increasingly unlikely.

The remarks by a European Commission representative during last week’s Euro Working Group that just two of the 16 prior actions that were supposed to have been implemented in the summer had actually been pushed through speaks volumes about confidence levels regarding the leftist-led coalition.

“This does not help us develop more trust in the Greek government,” an EU official told Kathimerini.