Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras is in Berlin today, for a crucial meeting with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble. Stournaras is expected to submit the first unofficial request for the extension of the implementation period of the 11.9-billion-euro package*. The new austerity should be implemented for the year 2013-2014, but Athens needs two more year to meet fiscal targets due to recession.
According to TO VIMA newspaper, Stournaras goes to Berlin with two arguments for his German interlocutor: a) the austerity package b) the budget implementation, that moves within the targets due to “bloody” cost cuts and despite serious shortfalls due to recession.
Stournaras’ goal is to open a “channel of communication” with his German counterpart and show first that Greece meets its commitments, and then to speak about the impact of recession and put on the table the need for extending the bailout program up to 2016.
Alongside Stournaras will also raise the issue of s0-called “drachma uncertainty” created by statements on Greece exiting the euro. Statements that have a negative impact on investments and privatizations during the last two years.
Greek Finance Minister would also ask Schaeuble’s support for loans from the European Investment Bank, loans that have been delayed as new barriers are constantly raised and guarantees from Greek banks were not accepted. Loans that are essential for funding major projects and for financing Small and medium Enterprises.
Stournaras will also meet German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
*I though the package was 11.5 billion euro, but TO VIMA writes “11.9 billion euro”.