The creation of a 20 billion euro liquidity cushion from EMS installments and bonds that Greece will issue next summer, and perpetual oversight for as many years as necessary to pay off 75 percent of the debt to Europeans , are the terms of Greece’s exit from the current bailout memorandum in August, 2018.

Facing huge issues such as Brexit, the Europeans are eager to put an end to the Greek tragedy. A new period has begun in which the IMF does not have a place. The IMF’s looser stance in the last negotiations was obvious.

“Instead of complaining as in the past, IMF delegates offered solutions to technical problems so as to facilitate us,” a source involved with the talks said.

Velvet divorce

The shift in stance may be due to political considerations or to an IMF decision to part ways amicably, as the fund is aware that the debt restructuring discussion will begin in May and by June no more IMF funding will be necessary.

The IMF aim of evaluating in February the viability of Greek debt it seems will be accomplished by the Europeans, who around that time hope to conduct the fourth and final evaluation of the current fiscal programme.

Many are speaking of a “velvet divorce”.


Setting the interest rate for servicing European loans after a grace period ending in 2022, their capitalisation and the extension of maturity dates of Greek bonds decades down the road are among the solutions on the table for the Greek debt problem.

The question is what will happen to the 7.8 bn euros in clear income from interest rates that Eurozone countries’ Central Banks raked in between 2012-2016 from the acquisition of Greek bonds. These were frozen during the period that Yanis Varoufakis was finance minister.

“Greece needs longer term deadlines on order to pay off its debt. We think the xtension of maturity dates is sufficient, but it must be substantial, but not 100 years,” said the IMF’s Poul Thomsen.