ATHENS – Greece’s embattled Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition will take on international creditors again on April 26, hoping to finalize tentative agreements for ratification at a Eurogroup meeting on May 22.
Spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos made the announcement of the return of envoys from the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism and said that countermeasures to offset more austerity agreed by the government are still on the table.
announcing that foreign auditors will return to Athens next Tuesday and that a dragging bailout review will be completed by a Eurogroup summit on May 22.
He said it’s also expected there will be a “complementary memorandum of cooperation as well as a memorandum with the IMF,” referring to the International Monetary Fund which has stayed out of a third bailout for 86 billion euros ($92.18 billion) after taking part in the first two of 240 billion euros ($257.24 billion) that came with brutal austerity measures.
The measures and additional agreements will then be put to a vote in Greece’s Parliament by mid-May to prepare for review by the Eurogroup of finance chiefs from countries using the euro as a currency.
Tzanakopoulos said the IMF may join the third bailout although the Washington, D.C-based agency said it wouldn’t unless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras keeps piling on more harsh conditions and the Troika provides debt relief.
“What is under discussion is a small IMF funding program, which will last for one year and end at the same time as the ESM program, in August 2018,” Tzanakopoulos said.
He dismissed reports as “groundless” that Greece will need yet more Draconian measures in 2018 although many analysts say they could be inevitable.
On the critical issue of debt relief, Tzanakopoulos said officials were seeking “a determination of medium-term measures that are general enough so as not to cause a political problem in Germany but specific enough… so as to satisfy the IMF in the effort that is underway to produce a positive debt sustainability report.”