Today’s Eurogroup meeting to discuss Greek bailout program and likely extension

The agenda in today’s Eurogroup meeting will likely include the Greek program, although the government has yet to reach a staff level agreement with the Troika. While an extension to the current program (beyond 31 December) is possible if Greece requests it, there is political pressure for a quick completion of the review before euro-area parliaments’ recess for the holiday season.

“A technical extension is a possibility. We did the same for Portugal. This could be the case for Greece. But I can only say that if and when the fifth review will be finalized” Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem told lawmakers in The Hague last week. 

An technical extension to the program will allow Greek banks continuous access to ECB funding (since Greek paper will remain eligible collateral), hence avoiding a shift to ELA.