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Crunch time for Greece

Crunch time for Greece
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Experts say Athens is nearly out of money and could be broke as early as August 20.

The European Commission has said that an intermediate way will have to be found to cover Greek financing needs in August but did not explain how that would be done.

Whether Greece has done enough to get further bailout money is being assessed by inspectors from the so-called troika – the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

However any outcome from that is a long way off. European Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani told a briefing in Brussels: “The troika will travel again to Athens in September and only then will it prepare the final assessment on the implementation of the programme. Before then it is too early to draw any conclusions.”

And scepticism is building on Greece’s long term membership of the euro. Analyst Fidel Helmer with Hauck & Aufhaeuser in Frankfurt said: “I think we have to be worried that Greece will leave the eurozone sooner or later. As of today the troika is working there again, it is expected to deliver a neutral report.”

EU officials have told the Reuters news agency that Athens is massively off-track with regard to its obligations under its second aid package.

The likely end result will be a further restructuring of Greek government debt, which would mean big losses for the EU and the European Central Bank.