G. Stathakis: Second review of the Greek program will be completed by the end of November

A second review of the Greek program will be completed by the end of November, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday.

In a radio interview, Stathakis said that talks went very well in the first week of negotiations and noted that the two sides have identified the areas of general agreement and the issues needed further negotiations, taking as granted that there are different views of these issues. “The review will be completed within schedule by the end of November,” he noted.

Commenting on talk over the possibility of a fourth memorandum, particularly if the IMF put fresh money in the Greek program, Stathakis said: “There is a confusion. The IMF has no program with Greece. This ended in early 2015 when SYRIZA became government. It is a technical adviser. If it puts money, it must have some kind of a program with Greece. This is not a fourth, or a fifth, or a sixth program. It is the current program, on which the IMF will have to decided whether it will participate or not. Therefore, any discussion over a fourth memorandum is based on a misunderstanding”.

“If the economy recovers, if we have the minimum debt relief measures, a return to QE, all these would mean that Greece could return to capital markets. It is very positive that enterprises based in Greece can borrow from international markets for the first time. All these concluded that by the end of the current program Greece will have returned to markets and there will be no discussion on a fourth memorandum,” the Greek minister said.

Stathakis said the Greek government and its creditors were very near to reach an agreement on a new legislation on the management of non-performing loans, while he categorically dismissed talk of additional measures. “We have voted all fiscal measures up to 2018 so there is no issue of new measures,” he said, adding that there is an agreement in principle over 2016 and 2017 and that we are fully within targets.

He said that the Greek economy will turn to positive growth rates in the last two quarters of 2016, paving the way for a 2.7-2.8 pct growth rate in 2017, as the private investment index shows a very strong growth.