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Athens under pressure over EU/IMF aid

Athens under pressure over EU/IMF aid
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With the credibility of the euro zone at stake over Greece‎‘s bailout, the wrangling goes on between Athens and Brussels.

The suspension of an EU, International Money Fund and European Central Bank mission to Greece late last week has raised questions over whether Greece can cut its budget deficit enough to secure the next instalment of bailout funds.

The head of a Financial Crisis Special Committee, MEP Wolf Klinz, told euronews: “Greece is not meeting the conditions of the (austerity) plan and the Greeks need to put some convincing proposals on the table on how to come back to the plan they had created before – and which is the basis of their second bail-out.”

Greece has blamed a deeper than forecast recession for not meeting its austerity targets, but in Brussels and at the IMF they are growing frustrated at delays in the implementation of reforms.

Our correspondent in Brussels, Isabel Marques da Silva, said: “The troika – the EU, the IMF and the ECB – is still giving the Greek government the benefit of the doubt saying it will resume the evaluation of the austerity measures within 10 days.

“But the European Commission has made it clear to Athens that if the objectives for fiscal reform and the 2012 budget are not met, the next tranche of the loan may be not be paid.

“For Brussels there is a question of the credibility of the whole process in a time when the parliaments of the euro zone countries are preparing to ratify a new financial help plan.”

For its part Athens insists it does expect to receive as planned a sixth, eight billion euro aid tranche from the EU and the IMF in September.