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The international isolation of the country has been broken, government estimates

The international isolation of the country has been broken, government estimates

The government did not hide its satisfaction after Merkel's visit to Athens and the talks with PM Antonis Samaras. "It was a very important visit to help stabilize the country in the euro...

The government did not hide its satisfaction after Merkel's visit to Athens and the talks with PM Antonis Samaras. "It was a very important visit to help stabilize the country in the euro. The climate of the visit will help overcome obstacles at home to pass the measures," a partner of Samaras' said. He added that the images of Samaras and Merkel show the good personal relationship between the two leaders and enhance the credibility of the Greek prime minister and the government. The government estimates that the visit sent an international message that Greece will remain in the Eurozone, pulled the country out of the isolation it had fallen in to due to handlings of previous governments and improved the climate for the country inside Germany.

Merkel avoided publicly adopting a position on the release of the tranche and the extension, the burning issues for the Greek side. She set the progress of the Greek issue on the agreement on the measures and the final report by the Troika.

The government believes that Germany will utilise its special weight when needed. However, it was clear from the meeting that along with the financial package, the government will rapidly proceed with the structural changes as well. According to information, from the original 89 actions agreed upon by the previous government there are still 39 left, but 15 of them are causing friction.

The next stop is the EU summit on October 18. It is doubtful whether the measures will close by then or if the Troika report will be ready. The government wants to acquire a positive statement and a commitment that the Greek issue will be discussed at an urgent Eurogroup meeting at the end of the month. It also believes that both the disbursement and extension will be discussed and decided together. Stournaras said that the disbursement will come either at the beginning or at the end of November depending on how structural changes and discussions with the Troika will develop.

The potential of a new haircut as requested by the IMF so that the debt can become viable, but also the possibility that the Greek issue will be discussed in the context of a comprehensive settlement of the debt crisis in the Eurozone along with the problem of Spain, have not been ruled out.

If the government secures a promise for an urgent Eurogroup and a hint that the Troika report will be in the desired direction, it will bring the package of measures and structural changes to a vote in parliament. Problems, however, remain with labour issues and the Troika’s persistence to abolish collective agreements by lowering the minimum wage.

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