Greece’s delay in negotiations over reforms required by the bailout program has left many issues still open, rendering the disbursement of the 2-billion-euro subtranche highly unlikely, according to European Commission sources.
The cancellation of the Euro Working Group teleconference scheduled between Greece and EU partners for Friday evening is a clear indication that Monday’s Eurogroup session is not likely to approve the disbursement of the 2 billion euros. The EC sources say that EU officials in Brussels state that there is not enough clarity concerning the Greek program so as to render discussion useful.
Athens has not yet resolved critical issues such as value added tax on private education, gambling taxation and foreclosure of homes for bad debtors.
The Greek side has sent an update to creditors which will be discussed throughout the weekend, but the open issues are numerous and the possibility of the approval of the tranche disbursement on Monday’s Eurogroup is becoming increasingly more difficult.
The same sources report that there are no substantial developments to justify a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Monday.
Non performing loans and the auction of first residence is a thorny issue that cannot be resolved yet. There are substantial differences between the two sides. Athens is hoping that a political solution will be given at the last minute.
Yet, more manageable issues such as finding equivalent revenues for VAT on private education have not been resolved either, despite the repeated promises by the Greek government that equal revenues will be found soon.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will reportedly have a telephone discussion with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the progress of the bailout program implementation. The two men will discuss the issues that remain pending.