“The greek finance minister confirmed that greek authorities consider IMF participation is indispensable as one of the key elements of the deal reached last summer” said the head of the Eurogroup during the press conference after the meeting of the Eurozone ministers finished.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem made it clear that he asked this to Euclides Tsakalotos while they met in Amsterdam and he made it clear that greek authorities will work with the IMF as this was a commitment of the greek government.
In fact, the greek minister, in an interview to the german paper Handesblatt confirmed that “the participation of the IMF has already been agreed” and that the “European partners mean that the IMF won’t participate anly in terms of technical contribution but it will have an active participation to the financing part”.
These statements put an end to a debate which has started some months ago with the prime minister Tsipras having said in December that for him “the participation of the Fund to the programme is not necessary”.
Then, Dijsselbloem stressed that the IMF itself wants to participate but puts its own conditions which include the greek debt sustainability.
However, he made it clear that this discussion will open only after the successful conclusion of the forst review of the programme, which is at the beginning, so that the ministers could have all the necessary data of the economic outcome.
The most important open issue now is the pension reform. Dijsselbloem said that the greek government gave a serious proposal, which, however, was not discussed in-dept between the ministers.
That’s why he called Athens to give all the details asked by the institutions so that they go to Athens as soon as possible and have the process on track fast.
Moscovici-Regling: The first review has to be concluded soon
Both EU Commissioner for Financial Affairs Moscovici and the head of the ESM Klaus Regling, stressed the need of the successful conclusion of the first review of the programme which has been delayed, although Moscovici stressed that the government has done major steps ahead after the summer.
However, the head of the ESM reiterated that the review has to be concluded fast because the liquidity situation could become tight again in February.