Greece is revisiting the possibility that it might be able to get some of the 7.2 billion euros remaining in bailout funding in return for part of the reforms being demanded by creditors but Kathimerini understands that the eurozone does not believe this option is available.
Three European officials who spoke to Kathimerini on Thursday on condition of anonymity said there is no question of Athens receiving funding unless there is first an agreement on the entirety of the reform package. “There cannot be a partial agreement,” one of the three said.
The next time Greece will be discussed is at a Euro Working Group (EWG) on April 8, a day ahead of Athens having to pay 450 million euros to the International Monetary Fund. Unnamed eurozone officials told Reuters that Greece expressed fears during the last EWG that it would run out of money on April 9. However, this claim was immediately denied by the government.
“The Finance Ministry categorically denies an anonymous report by Reuters on issues which were supposedly discussed during the Euro Working Group on April 1,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said negotiations with Athens are “improving” but that there is still much ground for Greece and its lenders to cover before an agreement on reforms could be reached. “They deliver more and more proposals that are more and more detailed. On some parts, we will definitely reach an agreement,” he said, adding that he does not expect the Eurogroup to meet next week to discuss Greek reforms.
“There must be a good package which can also be realized in the four months we’re talking about,” Dijsselbloem said. “The clock continues to tick.”
The Finance Ministry insisted on Thursday that Greece’s primary surplus target for this year will be 1.2 to 1.5 percent despite the fact that the proposals it sent to lenders, which were leaked on Wednesday, indicated a goal of 3.1 to 3.9 percent.