Merkel in Greece Before Easter

Samaras_Merkel2German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is expected to visit Athens, Greece, before Easter (April 20), in order to discuss Greece’s progress with the government.

So far, the exact date for the trip has not yet been set. Merkel is expected to show her support for Greece’s fiscal adjustment efforts before the next bailout tranche being approved at an informal Eurogroup in Athens on April 1. The Greek government is hoping to gain further trust from its euro zone partners as well as approval for further debt relief for Greece at a May 5 Eurogroup. Merkel’s last visit to Greece in October 2012, led to a large protest in the center of Athens.

After a seven-month review of the Greek economy, the country’s lenders appeared positive about Greece’s progress but pointed out the capital needs of banks and this year’s surplus as being the major issues that the government should settle. Foreign creditors expressed their satisfaction towards Greece’s efforts on structural reforms. “The authorities are making progress on structural reforms to improve the growth potential and flexibility of the Greek economy and help create a fairer and more supportive environment for investment, growth and job creation,” stated troika.

The Greek government estimates that the next tranche will amount to 10 billion euros.