Hardouvelis set for Eurogroup debut this week

Greece’s new Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis will meet his eurozone counterparts this week as he is due to take part in his first Eurogroup on Thursday, when he will have to provide reassurances that the government will complete the 12 prior actions it has agreed with the troika to receive another 2 billion euros in bailout loans.

Athens missed its June deadline for the first six prior actions, which would have unlocked 1 of the 2 billion euros Greece was expecting to receive this week. Hardouvelis is expected to reassure his counterparts that the government will fulfill the six outstanding commitments, which include implementing a new outdoor trade law and updating a list of nuisance charges, by the end of the month.

This will then leave the challenge of completing the other six tasks in July. The second batch of prior actions includes significant measures, such as adopting a law for the creation of a “small” Public Power Corporation and passing legislation that would allow all public sector supplementary pension funds to be merged with the private sector’s main pension fund (ETEA).

Greece needs to secure the next bailout installments as 6.4 billion euros of bonds mature in August.

After negotiating his way through his first Eurogroup meeting, Hardouvelis then has to meet troika representatives, who are due to return to Athens on July 8 and are expected to stay for around 10 days.