Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis directly blamed the International Monetary Fund and two European countries for the delays of the second review of the Greek program.
Speaking to newspaper Ethnos tis Kyriakis, Dragasakis said that the second review could have concluded by December 5th, if it wasn;t for the IMF and two European countries that put obstacles in the process.
“Some European countries demanded unrealistic primary surpluses of 3.5 percent for ten years. On the other hand the IMF demanded new demanded new austerity measures that affect the poorest of the society,” Dragsakis stressed.
“The rules changed while the game was ongoing,” he added.
Dragasakis explained that the Greek government had fulfilled most of its obligations towards the creditors by late November.
“However, two European countries declared that implementing the program was not enough. In order to be an agreement, the IMF should fully participate, they said, although the Fund has been abstaining from financing the Greek program since August 2014,” he underlined.
He stressed that it was German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who stated that “there is no program without the IMF.” This “gave the Fund a great bargaining power to demand additional austerity measures 2% of the GDP; additional measures beyond the agreement of August 2015” between Greece and the European creditors.
“The eurozone finance ministers wanted the IMF but would not accept its request for debt relief,” Dragasakis stressed adding “the government and the prime minister made laborious efforts to break the deadlock.”
Yiannis Dragasakis expressed optimism that the objective of an agreement at technical level (staff level agreement) until March 20th is possible.
“The government and the negotiating team of creditors’ representatives are working to achieve this objective,” Dragasakis added. He dismissed reports about a 4. bailout and Grexit.
“A fourth bailout and Grexit are off the table,” he said.
SYRIZA MEP Kostas Chrysogonos warned on March 8th, “if we do not enter the markets by 2018, the worse lies ahead and this is not the 4. bailout. Right now we are with one foot outside the Eurozone.”
The next Eurogroup meeting is scheduled on March 20th.
Beginning of the week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that a comprehensive solution between Greece and the creditors was possible in April.
PS Dragasakis did not elaborate on the second European country, but it was the Netherlands, if I am not wrong.