Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is to meet his eurozone counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday for a meeting expected to yield approval for up to 11 billion euros in rescue loans though a firm commitment on alleviating Greece’s debt appears to be rather unlikely.
The Eurogroup summit comes two days after the government pushed into law a new batch of austerity measures including an increase in the highest rate of value-added tax, new rules for the management of nonperforming bank loans, a controversial new privatization agency and the introduction of a so-called contingency mechanism that would automatically cut state spending if Greece misses budget targets.
Although the European Commission indicated that a tranche of around 11 billion euros has been earmarked for Greece, expectations for a firm commitment as regards Greek debt are lower as the Europeans and the International Monetary Fund still differ in their proposed approaches.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras discussed Greece’s reform progress in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a humanitarian summit in Istanbul yesterday. According to sources, Merkel struck a reassuring tone, saying she was certain that the Eurogroup would proceed smoothly on Tuesday.