Schaeuble hopeful that Monday’s Eurogroup will reach ‘political’ deal on Greece

Welcoming the package of prior actions voted by the Greek Parliament last week, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble expressed hope that a “political” agreement will emerge at Monday’s Eurogroup on Greece and was optimistic that the second tranche of loans can be promptly disbursed.

“Today we will discuss mainly Greece and for this reason there is a general expectation that we will arrive at an agreement,” Schaeuble said in a doorstep statement as he arrived for the Eurozone finance ministers’ meeting. He noted that the institutions’ will present their reports and their assessment of the situation during the meeting.

“I hope that today we will have an agreement that concludes the issue politically. We cannot, of course, conclude the issue of the next payment. We need a compliance report and a series of other things. We are broadly, however, adhering to the line we decided last May in order to arrive at a political agreement and create the conditions for a prompt disbursement of the second tranche,” he said.

Schaeuble clarified that the agreement for the payment for the next tranche could not be finalised during Monday’s Eurogroup but the political ground rules could be laid down, so that the technical work that will culminate in a final agreement can be concluded in the coming weeks.

Regarding the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the Greek programme, the German finance minister noted that the IMF’s debt sustainability analysis for Greece did not agree with that of the Europeans. “We must therefore find a solution that will allow the IMF to continue participating in the Greek programme without breaking its own rules,” he added. This would be one of the difficult issues at the meeting, Schaeuble said, while expressing confidence that a solution will be found.