Greek proposals for a revised bailout program don΄t have enough detail to satisfy the government΄s international creditors, eurozone officials said, making it more likely that Athens will need to go several more weeks without a new infusion of desperately-needed cash.
Officials from Greece΄s leftist government were in Brussels over the weekend to present the proposals to officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund–the trio of institutions representing the government΄s creditors. Getting their thumbs-ups is crucial for Athens to regain access to bailout funds and restore normal lending from the ECB.
The Greek government is facing a dire shortage of cash: It must pay salaries and pensions at the end of the month and repay debts to the IMF on April 9. While talks over the weekend were friendly, officials said, mistrust at a political level continues to stew between the outspoken government in Athens and the rest of the eurozone.
Following a meeting last week between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Greece said it would submit a list of bailout proposals to its creditors on Monday. Officials hoped that discussions over the weekend would ensure the list is roughly in line with the creditors” demands.
But officials say crucial details were again missing from the Greek proposals after talks that started Friday night, lasted all day Saturday and continued on Sunday.
“The proposals were piecemeal, vague and the Greek colleagues could not explain technically what some of them actually implied,” a eurozone official said. “So, let΄s hope that they present something more competent next week.”
Senior eurozone finance officials will hold a teleconference on Wednesday to discuss the situation, officials said. But they said it is highly unlikely eurozone ministers will meet before mid-April to release more money for Greece. That means Athens will have to scrape together cash to pay salaries and pensions at the end of the month and make a EUR460 million debt repayment to the IMF on April 9.
Even once the eurozone ministers meet, Athens will be expected to pass a portion of these proposals through the Greek parliament.
Given the mistrust of Athens by the rest of the eurozone, an EU official said, “there will be an expectation to see something operational.”