Dragasakis confident deal can be reached by March 20


Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis expressed optimism on Friday that the stalled negotiations over the second review of Greece’s third bailout can be wrapped up by March 20, on the conditions that medium-term debt relief measures for the country are specified and that primary surplus goals beyond 2018 are re-calibrated.

Speaking at the Delphi Economic Forum, Dragasakis said that if this is achieved Greece will be able to join the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing program which will pave the way for the country’s entry to international markets by the end of the year. He added that Greece would not need another bailout memorandum after it returns to the markets but added, however, that it would remain under strict supervision.

The sticking points of the negotiations stem from the demand by Greece’s international lenders for additional measures for the period after 2018 in order for Greece to achieve a primary surplus of 3.5 percent from 2019.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) insists that Greece will not be achieve these goals unless more measures and reforms are implemented, including low tax-free thresholds and a further slashing of pensions.