Government sources: Greece and creditors ‘very close to a political agreement’ for concluding 2nd review by Dec. 5

Greek government sources on Friday expressed confidence that Greece will reach an agreement with its creditors that will allow the second review of the Greek programme to be concluded by the December 5 deadline.

“We are very close to a political agreement for concluding the second review at the Eurogroup on December 5,” government sources said on Friday. They identified fiscal and labour issues as the ‘critical’ points and said the Greek side was working on these intensively and without concessions.

The same sources said they were “very optimistic” about Greece’s fiscal performance and noted that talks with the institutions had made a lot of progress, adding that the Greek government was not prepared to discuss additional measures and cited statements by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to SYRIZA’s Parliamentary Group.

“There has been great progress. Formally, the second review has not concluded; we have agreed on short-term measures, what remains are the medium-term and long-term measures and the aim is that by December 5 these will be made specific,” the government sources said.

They clarified that a number of draft bills tabled in Parliament will be passed into law by December 5 and that, provided there was a political agreement at the Eurogroup and a time frame was established, it was possible for more legislation to be tabled before the end of the year, using a method similar to adopted for the May agreement.

Asked to comment about the possibility of early elections, the sources said these would be “disastrous” for the country and pointed to statements on this issue by the prime minister, who made it clear that elections will be held in 2019, at the end of this government’s term.