17th January 2016

Greece accepts IMF role in bailout after all

The third Greek bailout package, financed through the eurozone permanent bailout fund – ESM, was again a point discussed at the regular Eurogroup (euro area finance ministers) meeting last week in Brussels. The ministers welcomed the progress, mainly the successful recapitalization of banks late last year, and expressed positive attitude towards the upcoming pensions reform in Greece. Furthermore, it was reported that after initial uneasiness of the Greek representatives, the International Monetray Fund will be part of the program after all. The possibility of IMF participation in inscribed into the program from the beginning, however Greece was unwilling to give in to mainly German insistence. IMF has a bad reputation in Greece – it has expertise for bailouts mainly from the third world and its methods in previous programs were sometimes seen as insensitive, especially from a social point of view. Experts are coming to Brussels on 18 January to debate the progress in the current bailout program.

At last week´s meeting (14 January), ministers also discussed Cyprus, euro area economic recommendations and also agreed to form a single constituency in the newly formed China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – as a strong signal of unity and a step towards single external representation of the eurozone.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic