Tsakalotos warns of bailout failure risks


Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos warned on Wednesday that Greece’s massive bailout program could fail if the EU and IMF persist in delaying the completion of a crucial review.

“We haven’t got endless time,” Tsakalotos told lawmakers at a European Parliament committee hearing in Brussels, sharply criticizing that teams from the EU and the IMF had not returned to Athens in a month.

Greece’s international creditors – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – completed a first phase of the review on February 5, but there has been little progress since.

“That time is in danger of making a self-fulfilling prophecy that the Greek program fails, for no reason that I can understand either as an academic economist or as a minister of finance,” Tsakalotos, an Oxford-educated former professor, told MEPs.

He added that the immediate benefits of a Greek participation in the ECB’s government bond-buying program, called quantitative easing (QE), are not clear, but it would be a good signal for investors.

[AFP, Reuters]