Will this finally be the day Greece gets the cash it needs to avoid bankruptcy? That was the question at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, as eurozone finance ministers met to sign off a 130 billion euro bailout deal. French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said all the elements were in place. The sense is Athens might have done just about enough.
“I’m optimistic, but in any case we need a clear approval from the eurogroup,” Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.
But after so many twists and turns during the latest phase of this crisis few are taking anything for granted. Least of all Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble who insisted nothing was signed yet.
“We need final assurances on the participation of the private creditors and the programme which guarantees that Greece’s debt in 2020 won’t exceed 120 percent of its GDP. There’s still some work to be done,’‘ he said.
Leaders are reportedly close to filling those financial gaps. But, as euronews’ Margherita Sforza explains, much of the delay stems from a lack of belief that Greece can deliver on its promises.
“Even Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has arrived here in Brussels to try to convince Greece’s European partners that his government means business. But words don’t seem to be enough anymore. As they arrived several eurozone finance ministers called on Greece to act and implement its promised reforms.’‘