Greece’s failure to drop a legal case against European experts who had worked on the Greek privatization program has caused an angry reaction from Spain as the country has threatened to block the latest bailout disbursement to Greece on Friday, FRANCE 24 Reports.
On the sidelines of EU finance minister talks in Luxembourg, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guinidos said that “the payment of the latest tranche will be blocked (without a solution).”
The legal case concerning three advisors to the Greek privatization agency — who are from Spain, Italy and Slovakia — happened when the debt crisis began in 2011. A Greek legal source said the experts were accused of “disloyalty to the public,” a crime that carries a 20-year jail sentence. The Greek courts initiated proceedings against the experts in 2014 after alleged irregularities in the sale of 28 real estate properties owned by the Greek state, the report continues.
A new law passed in 2016 gives foreign experts assisting Greece in its bailout program immunity but has no retroactive effect. “We will find a solution in time,” stated an anonymous Greek government source to AFP. The source added that Greece will not be going broke over the matter.
The next tranche of Greece’s bailout amounting to 86-billion euros, still needs the official go-ahead from national parliaments and a final sign off by Eurozone ministers, giving Spain a de facto veto for moving forward.
A Eurozone official told AFP that the legal case “is an issue for the whole Europgroup,” the report concludes.