Greek debt countdown to June 30

GMT 16:09 2015 Tuesday ,23 June

Arab Today, arab today Greek debt countdown to June 30

A man waves an European flag in front of giant Greek one
Brussels - AFP

Greece along with its eurozone peers and creditors have just one week from Tuesday to nail down the detailed debt deal needed to keep the country afloat and safely in the single currency bloc.

Following are the scheduled meetings up to June 30 when Greece's current massive bailout programme ends and it must repay around 1.5 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund to avoid default.

Wednesday, June 24: Eurogroup

The 19 eurozone finance ministers reconvene in the Eurogroup to thrash out the details of the next three Greek budgets to make sure Athens can hit the tough surplus and savings targets demanded by its peers.

The key sticking points are pension system reforms, increases in sales tax (VAT) and privatisation, all meant to boost government coffers.

Without agreement, the creditors -- the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF -- will not release the last bailout tranche worth 7.2 billion euros Athens needs to cover the June 30 IMF payment.

After winning a four-month reprieve in February to negotiate new bailout terms, Greece was supposed to come up with a list of reforms to meet creditor demands that it strengthen its public finances.

The creditors have said Athens repeatedly failed to produce any scheme they could discuss seriously.

EU president Donald Tusk said Monday that the Greek proposals submitted at the weekend were finally a real starting point for proper talks.

Thursday-Friday, June 25-26: EU summit

Leaders from all 28 EU member states hold a scheduled summit to review the first half of the year.

If the Eurogroup meeting Wednesday produces an agreement with Greece and its creditors as anticipated, leaders will then formally give it their blessing.
A new accord is meant to support Greece through the next few months so it can cover its debt payments while putting the public finances on a more sustainable basis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders are opposed now to any reduction in Greece's mountain of debt -- the heart of the problem -- but it is accepted that something must be done if the economy is ever to grow again.

Leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the debt -- some 320 billion euros or nearly 180 percent of annual economic output -- must be radically restructured if Greece is to have any chance of recovery.

Saturday-Tuesday, June 27-30: Parliaments

If Tsipras gets a deal, he still has to win Greek parliamentary approval and that could prove difficult.
He was elected in January on a promise to end five devastating years of bailout austerity and his radical left supporters are on the lookout for any backsliding.

The latest Greek proposals involve a significant fiscal hit and Tsipras may find it hard to sell them even if they do include new taxes on the wealthy to ease the burden on the poor.

Merkel of Europe's paymaster Germany also must get the agreement passed in the German parliament, but she is unlikely to risk a vote until the Greek assembly has passed its verdict. That means the Bundestag may only take up the issue on June 30.

Tuesday, June 30: Deadlines

Greece must repay around 1.5 billion euros to the IMF and its bailout programme ends.

At this stage, even if there is a new deal, it is unlikely that it could be put in place quickly and Greece would need some stop-gap solution to tide it over.

Germany opposes another extension to the current bailout programme so one EU source said the ECB might step in, allowing the Greek government to issue more short-term bonds to raise fresh cash in the meantime.

Greece could also perhaps draw on the 10 billion euros set aside in the current bailout to recapitalise its banks but only if these funds were rolled over.


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