ECONOMY

EWG to assess review progress on Monday

ewg-to-assess-review-progress-on-monday

The decision as to when the heads of the creditors’ mission will return to Athens will be reached at Monday’s Euro Working Group meeting, as currently it is only the institutions’ technical experts conducting talks with the government and drawing data from the Greek authorities.

The group that prepares the agenda of the Eurogroup meetings will examine the progress of negotiations to date regarding the course of the budget and the overall program review, so as to set a date for the return of the creditors’ chief representatives. Sources say that the main scenario is for their return to Athens within next week, while more technical experts are expected in Greece as of Thursday.

Those already in Athens are continuing to collect data on the execution of the 2015 budget, but their talks with Greek officials have yet to show any real progress.

In view of that delay, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis called on Wednesday for the swift completion of the review, asking the government to fulfill what has been agreed. He noted that the migration crisis has made the completion of the first bailout review even more imperative.

“It would be good to see results regarding the implementation of the bailout program, to complete the first review soon, to proceed with the funding from the program and lift the climate of uncertainty,” Dombrovskis said, adding, “Greece will have to satisfy the fiscal targets it has agreed on, to reform its pension system, to modernize its public administration and set in operation the privatizations fund.”

Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici rushed to stop any talk of a new arrangement for the Greek debt. He said many European countries are facing greater difficulties in the repayment of their debt than Greece, which nowadays pays some 12 percent of its gross domestic product, against Italy’s 20.4 percent, Spain’s 18.8 percent and France’s 14.5 percent. Greece’s rate is also below the 15 percent level considered the limit for the debt to be considered sustainable.