Quid pro quo

A relationship of trust is based on the certainty that both sides will keep up their end of the agreement.

Greece has to a large extent fulfilled the commitments it made to its international creditors and this was illustrated quite clearly by the fact that it achieved a primary surplus.

The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, however, keep putting off the crucial negotiations on lightening Greece’s debt burden time and again, on one pretext or another. Their refusal to launch the talks so that Greece has a clearer picture of how its future will look is putting an inordinate amount of pressure on the government in Athens.

A deal on lightening the debt load would make it much easier for the government to push through the measures needed to achieve the goals laid out in the bailout agreement. The further away the start of talks seems to drift, the harder it will be to find the motivation for continued austerity and structural reforms.