A hotel in Athens is the focus of the hopes and fears of many Greeks this week.
Inside, the country’s finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos and the energy minister George Stathakis, along with their advisers, have been meeting with experts from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the ESM eurozone bailout fund.
Under discussion are the economic reforms the Greek government must make to keep bailout funds flowing.
Without those loans Greece will go bankrupt. It needs the latest tranche of bailout cash to meet seven billion euros of new debt payments in July or risk defaulting on its loans.
Averting a new crisis
The bailout review underway is aimed at averting a new financial crisis in the eurozone. Financial markets fear a return to the situation of two years ago when Greece nearly crashed out of the euro, the European single currency.
The resumption of the long-stalled talks comes after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on February 20 at which there was a change in emphasis – away from austerity and towards reforms.
The change gives the Greek government cover for implementing the unpopular structural reforms demanded by the IMF.
They include further cuts to the already much reduced pension system and Greeks paying taxes on even lower levels of earnings, all to come into effect in 2019.
The government of Alexis Tsipras has said that any impact on the Greek people will be offset by relief measures.
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