27th March 2015

Eurozone awaits Greek reforms list

On 30 March, the Greek government should submit a list of reforms it undertakes to conclude in order to receive the last tranche of the international bailout program. It is part of the agreement the Greek government made with the eurozone in February, prolonging the existing program by four months. Until now, the government has only offered an indication of the reforms, altogether deemed unsatisfactory by the creditors. And although the Syriza government was able to strike a deal with its creditors that averted the immediate danger of default, the situation remains critical. Trust has since been damaged by some unilateral moves that the Greeks promised to avoid. Greeks continue to withdraw large sums of money from the banks, the banking sector thus being dependent on money provided by the Greek central bank to survive. And the deadline for the Greek government to repay a part of the IMF loan is drawing near. Not to mention the unexpectedly low tax revenues. Earlier, Greece asked for immediate disbursement of a part of the last tranche, which would ease the pressure a bit. But last week the eurozone responded negatively – there is no legal possibility to do that. The provisional agreement prolonging the bailout program is quite clear – once a list of reforms is presented, fine-tuned and approved by all the creditors (previously known as troika), Greece will get the whole outstanding sum. Also, the Greeks asked the ECB to allow the Greek central bank to lend more money to the banking system, now facing collapse. ECB replied positively, but the amount is deemed insufficient, nevertheless. With the Easter holidays coming up, and all the negative effects cumulating in Greece, it will be a tough couple of weeks for the Tsipras government.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic