I had to contemplate a lot about the Eurogroup on Monday. I had to think a lot on whether I should write a report about the results or simply grab any Eurogroup post from my archives 2010-2016 and just copy paste it.
From Eurogroup to Eurogroup, seven years long, always the same result: “progress has been made, work still needs to be done.”
Every Greek government ever since May 2010 got a new hobby, it’s called “Eurogroup Hopping”.
To make the long story short, the Eurogroup meeting on Monday ending in the usual stuff: thorns remain thorns, the Greek government wants a political solution mainly for the labor market reforms, France supports Greece on this, Germany disagrees. Germany wins, the others lose.
The question is now whether the second review will conclude on the next Eurogroup of April. and if not in April, then in May? June?
If there is no conclusion before the summer begins, a new tough crisis will arise, as it summer Greece will have financial obligations towards the lenders. Ah! The Grexit threat could be on the table again.
The usual stuff. The same stuff as in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and January, February 2017.
Eurogroup statement on Greece
The institutions (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Stability Mechanism) and Greek Minister for Finance Euclid Tsakalotos briefed the Eurogroup on the developments regarding the second review of Greece’s economic adjustment programme.
The Greek authorities and the institutions continue aiming for a swift conclusion of the staff-level agreement, based on the common understanding they reached last month. They will hold intensive talks in Brussels in the coming days, focusing on the main outstanding issues. These include the growth-friendly rebalancing of Greece’s public finances over the medium term (in 2018 and beyond) and the labour market reform.
A staff-level agreement is a necessary condition for the successful conclusion of programme reviews and therefore for receiving further financial support available under the programme.
In the euphemisms rhetoric of lenders – which is usually the language of the IMF – the income cuts to come, i.e. the additional pensions cuts and taxing the poor with annual income at 6,000 euros are no longer “structural reforms“ (IMF 2010-2014). The adjective ‘structural’ has been dropped long ago, anyway.
Now the ‘reforms’ have the adjectives “growth-friendly” and “re-balancing” – Thanks to a Twitter follower for the mention.
PS growth-friendly and re-balancing reminds me of a recreation day in a spa or something…