File Photo: European Council. European Union
The countdown of talks leading to Greece’s completion of its fiscal adjustment programme will begin at a Euroworking Group (EWG) meeting on Thursday.
Thursday’s EWG will open discussion on Greece’s growth strategy following the programme, a topic on the agenda of the upcoming Eurogroup meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 27. According to sources speaking to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the country’s creditors (institutions) are already working on a draft of Greece’s future strategy plan before it is formally presented in Sofia by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. The completion of prior actions by end-April will allow the Eurogroup to reach a preliminary agreement for Greece’s exit from the loan programme.
Meanwhile, the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC on April 20-22 is expected to discuss the issue of Greek debt relief. (The IMF has said it will activate a stand-by arrangement with Greece if the country’s European partners can guarantee the debt’s sustainability.)
Brussels’ timeplan foresees that June’s Eurogroup will put the final touches on an agreement including the completion of the fourth and last fiscal review, debt relief, and post-programme supervision.
Heads of institution missions are expected to return to Athens early in May, to complete the fourth review. Unfulfilled prior actions at the time, including energy plans and privatisation, will be given until June to be completed.