Athens offers pledge to Brussels on prior action completion by end of Sept.

TAGS: Finance

The Greek government has assured Brussels that this month it will fulfill all prior actions outstanding from the first bailout review and pave the way for the disbursement of a subtranche of 2.8 billion euros.

Athens informed a eurozone official this week that the 13 pending prior actions will be completed by end-September, when the next meeting of the Euro Working Group is scheduled, and definitely by the following Eurogroup on October 10, after the informal meeting of eurozone finance ministers tomorrow.

The original schedule had provided for all prior actions to be completed by September 15, though the ultimate deadline is the end of October, as the 2.8 billion euros will no longer be available after that time. The eurozone official told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels that “there is no liquidity problem in Greece.” However, should the Greek side delay the actions any further, the disbursement will have to once again go through the process of ratification by the eurozone’s national parliaments.

However, another eurozone official expressed doubts to Kathimerini over whether the prior actions can be fulfilled within the next few weeks as Athens assures, given that after the completion of the review negotiations in May there has been minimal progress on this front.

The most important outstanding actions concern the privatizations fund, labor market reform and the management of systemic banks. “True, the fund has yet to acquire its supervisory board, and therefore we are still two steps away from setting the fund in operation,” the same official said.

Representatives of the creditors are expected in Athens in mid-September to pave the way for the second review, which the official says is expected to be difficult on the labor issues “and will not be concluded in a couple of weeks.”

He reiterated that the timetable on debt relief and the participation of the International Monetary Fund in the program dictates that all this is discussed after the completion of the second review.

Greece will be the first issue on the agenda at tomorrow’s Eurogroup in Bratislava, where the course of the prior actions will be discussed in detail.