Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on Thursday said he expects a Eurogroup meeting on Sunday to sign-off on the release of a 12-billion-euro loan to Greece.
In a written statement, the EU Commissioner expressed certainty that the meeting will complete - in cooperation with IMF - an assessment of Greece’s economic programme, while he noted that Sunday’s and Monday’s Eurogroup sessions will discuss the content, terms and the character of the participation of the private sector in a new support programme for the country, so that final decisions could be reached in Eurogroup’s next meeting in July 11.
This way the default scenario would be avoided paving the way for an agreement on a new bailout programme, he said.
Rehn acknowledged this was a difficult procedure, but noted that with this double approach, in cooperation with IMF, any “accidental scenario” could be avoided. This means that funding of the Greek debt could be ensured until September, while decisions for after that period could be taken in July.
Rehn again urged Eurozone finance ministers to overcome differences at Sunday's meeting and to reach an agreement on the issue. He noted that Greek authorities and all Greek political leaders had to bear the heaviest burden, stressing that he expects the Greek Parliament to ratify the Mid-term Fiscal Strategy Programme as agreed to by the end of June.
“It is sad that efforts to reach national unity failed yesterday,” he said, adding that all political forces have the responsibility to agree on the necessary efforts to avoiding bankruptcy.
Rehn said the next few days were crucial for economic stability and the recovery of Greece and Europe. “I am confident that all leaders in Greece and Europe will realize their responsibility and act accordingly,” he said in his statement.
Amadeu Altafaj, Rehn's spokesman, speaking to reporters, said preconditions for the release of the fifth tranche of the EU bailout to Greece remained the same as in previous tranches, based on the EC-ECB-IMF "troika’s" report, while commenting on whether the memorandum could be renegotiated he said:
“The issue is not on the table as no such demand has been tabled by Greek authorities”. He noted however that any effort to renegotiate the memorandum would be considered as speculation, while he reiterated that there was no 'Plan B' to the support programme.