15th November 2015

Eurogroup withholds next sub-tranche until Greece meets its commitments

On 9 November, the eurozone finance ministers agreed to postpone the disbursement of the €2 billion sub-tranche to Greece from the current bailout program. They stated that although the much work has been done in Greece in implementing all the agreed reforms and that the cooperation is without serious problems, some conditions need to be met. This is true also with regard to the unlocking of some €10 billion, already prepared at the ESM (eurozone bailout fund), for the recapitalization of banks. Last week, it was reported that the overall amount of money needed for this purpose would be significantly lower than the predicted €25 billion. However, the legislation to guide the process of recapitalization in Greece is not yet fully in place. The ministers tasked the Euro Working Group, the group of finance ministries´ experts within the Council functioning as the preparation body of the ministerial Eurogroup, to review the situation until the beginning of this week (16 November).

The ministers also discussed the setting-up of the Single Resolution Mechanism, which will be functional on 1 January 2016, the economic forecast and the reform of the euro area.

Klaus Regling, managing director of the ESM, visited the EP last week, too. He stated that no nominal haircut of the Greek debt is needed at this point. According to Mr. Regling, the three bailouts decreased the overall debt of Greece by some 50%, although not directly and not nominally (there was a partial nominal haircut, at the expense of private investors). The financial conditions of the institutional loans for Greece are so favorable (low interest rates, extra long maturities), that the real debt due over the next years and decades is much lower than its nominal value.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic