Greece has again left it too late to implement all the prior actions required for the disbursement this Friday of the next bailout tranche due this month, which has now been postponed until next week.
There are five points whose implementation the European Commission is still awaiting, which means that even if the Euro Working Group of eurozone finance ministry officials does provide the nod on Wednesday via a conference call, Athens will still need to wait until Monday at the earliest for the 4 billion euros it is expecting to receive.
A letter sent by Germany’s Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter to members of the country’s lower house Budget Committee, seen by Bloomberg, says that the committee will not meet on Wednesday but next Monday, as Greece’s creditor representatives have postponed filing their report on Athens’s progress and the country has not yet fulfilled all of the required prior actions.
The country’s creditors were unable to verify all 22 prior actions for the disbursement of the tranche on Tuesday as five procedural points were still pending. These concerned the publication in the Government Gazette of the multi-bill voted last week (which was expected to take place on Tuesday night), the tabling of the new Code of Tax Procedures in Parliament, which was implemented on Tuesday (although the original plan was to do so last Monday), the publication in the Government Gazette of the ministerial decision for the transfer of two General Secretariat of Information Systems agencies to the General Secretariat for Public Revenues (expected on Wednesday), the issue of a ministerial decision for the return of money from pharmaceutical companies and clinics to the country’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY (also set for Wednesday), and the Central Council for Administrative Reform’s approval of organizational charts for 360,000 civil servants, which was implemented on Tuesday.
Finance Ministry sources said there would be no problem as all prior actions will have been fulfilled once the Code for Tax Procedures is tabled. The International Monetary Fund is also set to approve its own tranche to Greece, amounting to 1.8 billion euros, on Monday.