NEWS

Greek gov’t official rules out third set of prior actions

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As speculation swirls about Greece being obliged to commit to a new set of so-called prior actions to secure the release of further loans, a Greek government source told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency on Monday that such a prospect is out of the question.

"For the government, there is no question of additional prerequisite measures," the AMNA quoted a government source as saying. The official added that a such a demand has not been made to Athens by creditors.

The government's current priority is implementing the agreement reached at July's summit. the official said, referring to the meeting in Brussels on July 12 when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to accept a tough compromise or the prospect of a Greek exit from the eurozone. The official referred to a recent statement by European Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and a recent telephone conversation between Tsipras and French President Francois Hollande which focused on the July 12 agreement and mentioned no further prior actions.

Several reports on Monday however suggested that creditors are seeking further measures. "This, at present, is the big, fat, issue,” the Financial Times cited one official involved in the talks as saying. “They do not want to understand that there will be yet another significant package of ‘prior actions’ before any disbursement. They already have implementation fatigue after two mini-bills.”

The creditors' initial goal was to complete negotiations by August 11 and hold a Eurogroup then to approve the new bailout so that it could be ratified by various eurozone parliaments and a disbursement made to Greece by August 20 when a 3.2-billion-euro payment to the European Central Bank comes due.

But speculation is growing about the likely need for a new bridge loan for Greece.

Technical level talks are to begin in Athens on Tuesday with the so-called mission chiefs representing Greece's creditors expected to arrive in the capital on Wednesday or Thursday.