Greece’s creditors have essentially thrown up their hands in frustration at Greece’s refusal to implement reforms in return for bailout loans, world press reports say.
EU Says Greek Bailout Talks Far From Resolution
Wall Street Journal – Valentina Pop and Stephen Fidler
Greece’s negotiations with international creditors are going very slowly and are nowhere near the point where bailout money can be disbursed, a senior European Union official said.
The Greek government has complained that it will soon run out of cash if no bailout money is disbursed, a development that would raise the prospect of a default on its debt and even an exit from the euro.
“Currently, there is some progress but unfortunately those negotiations were in for a slow start, time is short and there is a lot of ground to be covered,” Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the euro and social dialogue said.
Dombrovskis travels to Washington this week for the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings and an informal gathering of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, where Greece is likely to feature prominently on the agenda.
He played down expectations that a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga on April 24 would yield major advances. “The Eurogroup meeting in Riga will be a good occasion to take stock of the state of negotiations as of end-April.”
EU Says Greece “Impossible” To Work With
Business Insider – Mike Bird
Greece’s bailout negotiations resume again Wednesday, and the outlook is no better.
According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s biggest newspapers, a senior eurozone official said it was “simply impossible” to work with the Greek government.
According to the report, the mood in Europe’s institutions is between “frustration and resignation,” and the official suggests there will be no deal by the time European finance ministers meet for the Eurogroup Summit on April 24, the soft deadline for an agreement.
The German business newspaper Handelsblatt even had European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis chiming in to suggest no deal is likely by the time the Eurogroup meets.
Bloomberg got the same message from its anonymous source in the talks:
The two sides are not moving closer to a deal, said an international official involved with the negotiations.
The Greek government’s refusal to proceed with any privatizations, and its pledges to reverse labor-market reform, pension reform and budget savings can’t be accepted by the country’s creditors, the official said.
If the talks go on much longer, they’ll run toward May 12, the date at which HSBC expects Greece may have to default.
Germany Says No Greek Aid in April
Reuters – Noah Barkin and Caroline Copley
The German government said on Wednesday that it was unrealistic to expect euro zone countries to be able to pay out a new tranche of aid to Greece this month.
“We are negotiating with Greece at the moment. If there is a reform list, then the next step is a so-called Staff Level Agreement to make formal changes to the conditions of the aid program. This is a complex process and no one in the Eurogroup expects this to be concluded by April 24,” a finance ministry spokeswoman said.
“Once you have this Staff Level Agreement, then you have to have implementation. Greece would have to agree laws and at some point the institutions would conduct an implementation review and only on this basis could aid be paid out. If people are under the impression that aid could be paid out in April, I think this is wrong.”
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