After months of deadlock, a solution to the Greek debt crisis is near, says Guntram Wolff of the Brussels based think-tank, Bruegel.
He joined euronews’ Efi Koutsokosta in our Brussels studio on Monday.
Efi Koutsokosta: Do you think this is finally the last week when we can reach a solution?
Guntram Wolff: Obviously the last deadline in terms of finance could be the end of the month,or perhaps even the end of July, when the ECB payments are due. But I would expect by now that the pressure is so high and there has been so much political capital invested in all sides that I would expect by the end of the week to find a solution.
EK: And why do you think all the eurozone countries are trying so hard to keep Greece in the eurozone?
GW: Most people realise that kicking Greece out would be a breach of the treaties, it would be a breach of trust. It would fundamentally change the nature of the monetary union, which would then be reversible. It would raise lots of questions about who can take such decisions. And certainly, I think Germany wants to avoid to be seen as the one who actually decides that Greece leaves the euro.
EK: Who do you think has made most of the concessions during all these months of negotiations?
GW: Well, that’s a difficult one. But I would certainly think that the creditors have made very significant concessions. My hope now is that Greece makes no concessions on the primary surplus but really makes concessions on reforming their own country, trying to fight corruption, trying to tax the rich people. I mean these kind of signals are extremely important, not just in Greece, but also in the creditor countries: any such news can be easily sold by the European partners to their domestic electorate, so I very much hope that Tsipras will actually tax some rich people in Greece.
EK: Do you see any third bail out in sight?
GW: All of this will mean we will have a third bail out programme, if only to replace the IMF funding that is out there, and perhaps to ease a bit the austerity.
EK: Thank you very much, Mr Wolff.
GW: Thank you.