New loan deal may be in the pipe­line

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

With top-rank­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Greece’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors due to ar­rive in Athens to­day for a cru­cial au­dit, it has emerged that the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund is plan­ning to draft a new agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment that would fore­see the dis­burse­ment of some 30 bil­lion eu­ros more in emer­gency loans than orig­i­nally pledged in re­turn for quicker im­ple­men­ta­tion of struc­tural re­forms and more aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cials con­firmed yes­ter­day that there was a pos­si­bil­ity of Greece ex­tend­ing the ex­ist­ing mem­o­ran­dum – the name given to an agree­ment signed be­tween the gov­ern­ment and its cred­i­tors last May – or be­ing bound to a new pact.

Sources told Kathimerini that the IMF fore­sees the pledg­ing of be­tween 80 and 100 bil­lion eu­ros in loans to Greece by 2013 – that is some 30 bil­lion eu­ros more than the loans Greece was promised in the orig­i­nal mem­o­ran­dum. Of the 110 bil­lion eu­ros pledged in this orig­i­nal pact, Greece has re­ceived 38 bil­lion eu­ros so far.

A new mem­o­ran­dum would set out new goals and a time frame for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­forms and of a pri­va­ti­za­tion drive that aims to raise 50 bil­lion eu­ros by 2015. It is ex­pected that the gov­ern­ment will be asked to an­nounce an­other 6 to 7 bil­lion eu­ros’ worth of aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

Mean­while Greece’s eu­ro­zone part­ners have made it clear that they do not want to of­fer any more loans with­out guar­an­tees. They want the coun­try to use state as­sets as col­lat­eral for all the loans it re­ceives.

Greece’s cred­i­tors have been press­ing rul­ing PASOK to seek a con­sen­sus on re­forms with the con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy. But, ac­cord­ing to sources, ND leader An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras has no in­ten­tion of oblig­ing, even if this prompts early elec­tions.

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