Amidst reports that Greece’s creditors may seek a two-month extension of the fiscal adjustment programme, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the Commission is working with Athens on completing the programme this summer, but did not deny the prospect of an extension.
The programme is scheduled to be completed in late August.
Schinas was not in a position to answer a journalist’s question on whether the memorandum between Greece and its creditors provides for the prospect of an extension, and said his team would check on that.
“Here in the Commission, we remain focused on working with our partners to build on the good progress made in recent months to ensure a successful conclusion of the Greek programme this summer,” Schinas said.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz recently stated that Greece is obliged first to proceed with agreed reforms and present a credible development plan and that definitive discussions of debt relief will take place after the end of the programme in August.
It now appears that Athens will not be able to meet all its commitments for the fourth and last bailout evaluation in time for the 21 June Eurogroup, as originally planned. That will lead to the postponement of the disbursal of the next loan tranche.
The Greek government and its creditors agree that more time will be needed to complete an overhaul of property valuations for tax purposes, the privatisation of the Public Power Corporation’s lignite plants, and a restructuring of DEKO public utilities companies.
Juncker to address Greek Parliament
Schinas confirmed that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will visit Greece and address the Greek Parliament next week.
“The President considers it a great privilege to be invited to address the Vouli, the Parliament of the Hellenes, next Thursday the 26th,” Juncker’s spokesman said.