Troika keeps up the pressure

The fact that Greece’s fragile government appeared to have survived a political crisis that led to the withdrawal of its junior partner was reportedly a source of cautious relief on Friday to European officials meeting in Luxembourg who however stressed that the implementation of Greece’s reform program, and the continued release of rescue loans, was in the hands of Greek government officials.

“It is very important to stabilize the political situation in Greece immediately and really concentrate all energy on the implementation of the program,” European Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters on Friday. He said troika inspectors were due to return to Athens in early July, adding that the review could be completed shortly after, “depending on Greece.” Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem expressed similar cautious optimism after a Luxembourg summit where Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras was said to have been questioned by his eurozone peers about Greece’s political upheaval. Stournaras reportedly described it as “turbulence,” saying, “It will pass.” He is said to have had one-on-one talks with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is to visit Athens in the second half of July.

A spokesman for the International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s three international creditors, also pressed Greek authorities “to deliver on the program quickly.” “If the review is concluded by the end of July, as expected, no financing problems will arise because the program is financed till end-July 2014,” Gerry Rice said in a statement issued late on Thursday.