Greek Debt, Quantitative Easing Out of the Eurogroup Agenda

Despite Greece’s high hopes, debt relief and inclusion in the European Central Bank quantitative easing program are two issues that will not be discussed in Thursday’s Eurogroup.

The only thing that Athens will get in the meeting of euro zone finance ministers is the green light for the disbursement of the next loan tranche amounting to 7.4 billion euros. Greece has an equal amount of Greek bond repayments due in July.

Regarding debt relief, the German finance ministry continues along the lines that the issue will be discussed after the completion of the bailout program in August 2018, and that under the condition that debt easing measures are necessary.

According to an Ant1 television report from Berlin, the German finance ministry spokesman said that the proposal of French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire that debt relief measures should be linked with growth progress are in fact debt easing measures and Germany does not want to discuss that.

Thereby, the issue of the Greek debt will not be in Thursday’s Eurogroup agenda.

Also, Greece’s participation in the ECB quantitative easing program will not be discussed either. The confirmation comes from ECB executive Benoit Coeure who spoke to Bloomberg, saying that European finance ministers should take action to give Greece a decision to restore confidence in its economy.

However, Coeure clarified, the decision to integrate Greece into the bond-buying program is a different issue.

The ECB official pointed out that the QE can not be the consideration for Greece, because the finance ministers will not decide on the debt relief measures. Quantitative easing will not be the quid pro quo for Greece, he said characteristically.