PM urges minister to expedite efforts on pending prior actions


Greece cannot afford any more delays in the completion of the third review of its third bailout by foreign creditors if it is to access international markets and begin debt relief discussions, according to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who convened a cabinet meeting on the subject on Friday. 

Given the delays plaguing efforts to implement dozens of prior actions by the end of year, Tsipras urged ministers to do their best to meet deadlines. 

The government’s course for the completion of their review is set to be a difficult one as only 18 of the 95 prior actions have so far been implemented. 

Tsipras wants to complete the review as quickly as possibly in order to facilitate Greece’s access to international markets.

The effort will be put to the test with the swap of 20 small bonds that were issued as part of Greece’s debt restructuring in 2012 with four new ones.  

The government hopes this will take place in November. 

Debt relief is also inextricably linked with the successful wrap-up of the review. Ahead of Monday’s meeting between Tsipras and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF in Europe, Poul Thomsen, appeared optimistic with regard to the key demand of Greek debt relief. 

Discussions about the debt, he said, will begin soon so the IMF can activate its program. During a press briefing on Friday, Thomsen reiterated Lagarde’s position that the Fund it is not asking Greece for further fiscal measures. 

“Our program has a primary surplus target of 2.2 percent of GDP for 2018,” he said, adding that, according to his information, Greece will achieve this target.