Troika Plays Hardball, Greece Sticks to Plans



EFCF Chief, Klaus Regling
The troika is expected to return to Athens for its final assessment on Greece’s reform program at the end of the week. However, plans to come back to Athens have not yet been announced.

The head of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Klaus Regling has stated at Cyprus newspaper “Politis” that in order for the troika to return to Athens, the government must take up greater commitments and harsher measures.

The atmosphere between the Greek government and the troika of international lenders seems to be very intense, as the latter seems unwilling to return to Greece by the end of the week for its assessment. The troika seems dissatisfied with the decision taken by the Greek side to go ahead with the law of settling debts in 100 installments, a decision that the Greek government considers as final.

Regling warns that the time to make final decisions on Greece is coming to an end (December 8) and warns that an extraordinary Eurogroup meeting may take place to discuss the Greek issue, just a few days before the upcoming EU Summit scheduled to take place on December 18.

Regling further said that if a deal is not reached between Greece and its lenders, then the 11.5 billion euros that remain in the coffers of the Financial Stability Fund for Greece will be taken back and a good chance that the upcoming 1.8 billion euro tranche from the EFSF may not be given to Greece as planned.

The negotiations are hard and Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis is alone against the country’s lenders. Hardouvelis has not only to understand and try to find a compromise in all of troika’s demands, but also to convince his European counterparts that a possible exit of the IMF from the Greek program will not jeopardize their position.