As negotiations regarding the second bailout review enter their final phase, Greek officials fear that there will be demands for harsher measures.
Greece and its creditors are continuing talks to find solutions to open matters in the second review of the Greek economy. Greece’s EU creditors have already started to compose a text for a deal, with Athens anxiously waiting to see where there is convergence. Time is of the essence, as the brokered deal will need to be presented to the Euroworking Group (EWG) on November 28, or at the Eurogroup on December 5 at the latest.
EWG Chief Thomas Weiser told Bloomberg on Friday that Greece and the creditors are discussing reforms. He appeared optimistic that the way can be paved for discussions in December regarding debt relief. Back-to-back talks will take place on Saturday and Sunday in order to reach an agreement on several thorny issues, such as changes to labor laws that creditors are pushing for. Among the controversial issues are laws that will make it easier for struggling employers to carry out mass dismissals, something that the IMF believes will make the Greek economy more competitive. Creditors also oppose Greek plans to bring back collective wage bargaining.
There are differences between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and EU partners regarding the country’s fiscal targets. These differences fuel unease, however the Greek government displays reserved optimism that the framework set can be followed.