ECONOMY

Talks with Brussels on reforms for cash

In the last few days Athens has been in contact with representatives of the institutions formerly known as the troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), ahead of Monday’s Eurogroup meeting during which Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will present six reforms that can proceed immediately.

According to sources, a Euro Working Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in which Greece will be represented by the president of the Council of Economic Advisers (SOE), Giorgos Houliarakis, who on Tuesday participated in a teleconference with the lenders’ representatives. The aim of the conference was to discuss the procedures to be followed and for the country’s creditors to be updated on the government’s intentions.

There is also talk of a possible visit to Athens by the creditors’ technical experts soon.

In the context of Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s proposal for a partial disbursement of the outstanding tranche of 7.2 billion euros this month if Greece shows progress in reforms, Varoufakis said that the government has prepared a blueprint of six reforms which sources say are included in the list that the government sent to the Eurogroup last month according to its agreement with the eurozone.

In reference to the reforms Varoufakis will present to the Eurogroup on Monday, a spokeswoman for European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday that the Commission is in close contact with Greek authorities, with talks both in Athens and at the seat of the institutions.

Regarding the possibility of a partial disbursement on the condition of promoting reforms, spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt referred the reporter who asked the question to the latest Eurogroup meeting’s decision.

The disbursement of part of the 7.2-billion-euro tranche would considerably ease the pressure on Greece’s state coffers as the country’s liquidity problems are a pressing concern for the Finance Ministry. Wednesday’s 1.4-billion-euro treasury bill auction will likely illustrate this.