Greece, cred­i­tors seen to be clos­ing in on 3rd agree­ment over bailout

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Greece and its cred­i­tors re­sumed talks in Athens on Sun­day with both sides in­di­cat­ing that the terms of a third bailout will be fi­nal­ized in short or­der.

The fi­nance and econ­omy min­is­ters, Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos and Gior­gos Stathakis, were back at the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble with the ECB, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund and the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism at 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT).

They are fi­nal­iz­ing the draft of a cru­cial new bailout of up to 86 bil­lion eu­ros (US$94 bil­lion) in ex­change for fur­ther re­forms be­fore the debt-rid­den coun­try must re­pay 3.4 bil­lion eu­ros to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank on Au­gust 20.

Stathakis said ahead of ne­go­ti­a­tions on Satur­day that lasted more than six hours that the talks were “in the fi­nal stretch.”

On Sun­day, pro- gov­ern­ment news­pa­per Avgi said: “All signs are point­ing to an agree­ment ... pos­si­bly be­ing reached even to­day.”

It added that par­lia­ment could vote on the ac­cord this week, or that eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters could ap­prove it first on Fri­day, af­ter which par­lia­ment would vote on it on Aug. 18.

Ger­many’s Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung re­ported Sun­day that the Greek gov­ern­ment would likely ap­prove a 27-page draft mem­o­ran­dum of re­form com­mit­ments this week­end to al­low the new bailout to go through be­fore the Aug. 20 re­pay­ment dead­line.

With its lenders in­sist­ing on “very good co­op­er­a­tion” from Athens, both sides are “work­ing flat out” and “in­tense talks with Greece will con­tinue over the week­end,” an EU source said.

An agree­ment will have to be reached by Aug. 17 to pre­vent Greece from hav­ing to ask for a bridg­ing loan to avoid another loan de­fault.

The cash-strapped coun­try al­ready missed two key pay­ments to the IMF that were due on June 30 and July 13, but the re­pay­ments — amount­ing to around two bil­lion eu­ros — were later made pos­si­ble with a short-term EU loan.

Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras is un­der pres­sure not only by the pay­ment dead­line but also from many in his rad­i­cal left Syriza party who say the new ac­cord will pile fur­ther aus­ter­ity on a weak­ened econ­omy and goes against the party’s cam­paign pledges.

But with his pop­u­lar­ity among Greeks still high, Tsipras has warned the dis­si­dents of early elec­tions in the au­tumn if they con­tinue to re­sist the mea­sures.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.