EU official rules out review wrap-up before Eurogroup


A high-ranking European official has ruled out any chance that the second review of the country’s third bailout will be concluded by Monday’s Eurogroup.

The official, who declined to be named, said that at best, and if the leftist-led coalition accepts creditors’ proposals, eurozone ministers will green-light the return of technical experts to Athens to continue negotiations.

Inconclusive talks over debt relief and reforms have prevented a conclusion of the review, raising concerns over the Greek bailout program altogether.

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said as much speaking to Greek news portal Euro2day on Friday. “There is a common understanding that time lost reaching an agreement will have a cost for everyone,” he said.

For its part, the government insisted on Friday that the economy has met its budget targets and there is no reason for additional measures in order to reach a deal with creditors. A deal “must be reached without additional burdens and without additional cost for Greek society,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Friday, adding that the International Monetary Fund and Germany’s finance ministry must “return to reality” for a deal to be sealed.

Meanwhile, Finance Ministry sources predict that the the country’s primary surplus for 2016 will come in at 3 percent of GDP, which, they believe, will strengthen the government’s hand in negotiations.