The finance ministry is signaling that the next loan tranche that Greece expects after completion of the ongoing bailout compliance evaluation will be much smaller than originally projected, or about 4.5 billion euros.

The ministry, in leaks to journalists, says that the size of the tranche is linked to Greece’s revenue needs between February and June, which are about three billion euros, and it denies a spate of press reports that had predicted a tranche of seven-and-a-half to eight billion euros.

Hence, the government is expecting a basic three billion euro tranche, to which another 1.5 billion euros will be added, to cover overdue debt of the state to the private sector, which would of course give a much-needed liquidity boost to the economy.

The precondition for disbursal of the tranche is successful completion of the third fiscal adjustment programme evaluation.

Alternate Finance Minister Yorgso Houliarakis today briefed the Euro Working Group on progress made toward completion of the evaluation, and how the government intends to tie some important loose ends.

The most crucial outstanding issue for creditors is when and how the government will establish and expand electronic auctions of properties, seized to pay off debt to the state, insurance funds, and banks.

The issue is overwhelmingly important for the survival of Greek banks, which are struggling under an avalanche of non-performing loans.

Argyro Tsatsouli