13th May 2016

Eurogroup discusses possibility of debt relief for Greece

At their special meeting on 9 May, the eurozone finance ministers discussed the Greek progress in its bailout program. They welcomed that the Greek parliament passed a tough law on pensions and taxes the previous night. Once Greece passes legislation ensuring two additional benchmarks are eventually met (3% of GDP fiscal deficit in 2018, 3.5% of GDP fiscal surplus in the medium term), the Eurogroup will finalize the first review of the current bailout program and disburse the second tranche. Crucially, the Eurogroup indicated possibilities for a debt relief after the completion of the first review. Nominal haircut is, however, still out of the picture. More favorable debt management, longer maturities and grace periods, as well as unspecified additional measures after the conclusion of the bailout program, provided that Greek public finances are on a sustainable path by then. The Eurogroup will meet on 24 May and it is expected that a deal will be made then. It is a more positive outcome than many expected.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic