ECONOMY

Government drafts omnibus bill, keeps eye on debt relief

government-drafts-omnibus-bill-keeps-eye-on-debt-relief

The government is to submit to Parliament on Monday an omnibus bill containing the prior actions it needs to carry out so Greece can receive the next 2-billion-euro subtranche from its lenders.

MPs are due to vote on the multi-bill on Saturday. In the meantime, the institutions are expected to send more technical experts to Athens, particularly with the aim of assessing the state of Greece’s public finances.

The passing of the measures is expected to lead to a meeting of the Euro Working Group, which has the duty of giving the green light for more loans to be disbursed. The Eurogroup on November 9 will then decide what prior actions will be required in the second piece of legislation for Greece to receive the 1 billion euros that will remain from its initial 16-billion-euro tranche.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has indicated he would like this process, including the first review of the third bailout program, to be completed by the end of November. The recapitalization of Greeks banks is due to take place by the end of the year.

The government is hoping that by clearing these hurdles, it will be able to begin discussing with its euro area partners the prospect of debt relief.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos had an opportunity to discuss this with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde in Lima on Sunday.

“Mrs Lagarde appreciates the effort that the Greek government is making so the first review is completed on time, allowing the bank recapitalization to progress before January 1, 2016, as planned,” said Tsakalotos in a statement after the talks in Peru.

“Straight after that a discussion about debt will begin so that the necessary conditions can be created for Greece to turn the page and so the exit from the crisis becomes tangible.”