ECONOMY

No decision on return of mission chiefs to Athens for bailout review

no-decision-on-return-of-mission-chiefs-to-athens-for-bailout-review

Monday’s Euro Working Group (EWG) ended without an agreement on when the institutions’ mission chiefs will return to Athens.

During what was said to be a tense meeting, the differences between the Greek government and its lenders, as well as between the institutions themselves, were not bridged. The different projections for the fiscal gap to 2018 remains a key sticking point in the negotiations.

Sources told Kathimerini that Greece’s representative, Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis had a heated exchange with the International Monetary Fund’s Delia Velculescu during the Brussels meeting.

The standoff at the EWG suggests that the return of the mission chiefs, who sources say met in Frankfurt over the weekend, to Greece this week is unlikely.

There was also a meeting between European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and European Central Bank president Mario Draghi also met at the sidelines of the recent G20 gathering.

It is thought that the European lenders are trying to encourage the IMF to ensure the lenders return to Athens soon due to fears of letting the bailout negotiations drag on at the same time that the refugee crisis is flaring up.