Extension of program ruled out, for now
Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno on Thursday denied that there is any discussion about extending the Greek bailout program, as German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung has suggested.
Speaking in Washington ahead of Friday’s meeting of the so-called Washington Group (Greece’s creditors), Centeno tried to put an end to rumors of a two-month extension, stating that the Greek authorities are focused on exiting the program and not extending it. Only Greece can trigger an extension upon its request – and Athens is not at all willing to do so, a eurozone official explained to Kathimerini.
On Friday all eyes will be on the Washington Group meeting that will discuss the mechanism to link Greece’s debt relief to the rate of economic growth, with major differences already observed between the IMF and Berlin.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that the markets see Greece in a more positive light today as “the country has considerably improved its financial positions,” adding that the Fund is not in favor of any further cuts to public spending.