Eurogroup wants letter with five signatures for 6th tranche of bailout money
09. November 2011. | 09:52 10:02
The Eurogroup wants a letter bearing five signatures before the sixth tranche of the aid to Greece is disbursed, sources said on Tuesday.
According to these, government vice-president and finance minister Evangelos Venizelos informed Tuesday's cabinet meeting that Greece's European partners are demanding that they receive a letter signed by Prime Minister George Papandreou, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, the new prime minister, the new finance minister and Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor George Provopoulos, in which they pledge that the Oct. 27 agreement concerning loans to Greece will be fulfilled before they disburse the sixth installment of the loan to Greece.
Venizelos briefed the cabinet members that there is no other prerequisite for the government and no additional measures are required for the sixth tranche.
The Eurogroup on Monday evening asked for a written commitment by the new Greek coalition government that is due to be announced and also the political forces that will be backing it in order to disburse an 8 billion euros 6th tranche of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan to the country and for completion of the procedures for drafting a second bailout programme.
Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn also told a press conference Monday night after a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels that immediately after the new government is formed, the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' will go to Athens to complete the drafting of the new (second) programme for Greece.
Juncker insisted on the need for inter-party support for all aspects of the second programme, which should be put in writing. "We call on all the sides concerned to assume their responsibilities," he said.
According to the two officials, the model that will be followed is the same as that for Portugal and Ireland, where the opposition parties backed the EU-IMF programme.
Asked whether the demand for a written commitment could be construed as intervention in the country's internal affairs, Rehn said that the same happened with Ireland and Portugal without that being considered intervention in the domestic affairs of those countries.
Juncker said that the October 21 eurogroup decision for disbursement of the 6th tranche has not been abandoned and remains in effect, and the disbursement will take place. He also clarified that approval of the disbursement could be decided via a tele-conference of the eurogroup rather than another meeting.
Rehn also noted that the unilateral announcement of a referendum on the October 27 eurozone summit agreement delivered a blow to Greece's credibility, and "it is essential that the entire political class is now restoring the confidence that had been lost in the Greek commitment to the EU/IMF programme".
European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn on Tuesday stressed that Greece's political class had to accept its responsibilities, in statements after the end of the ECOFIN Council in Brussels.
"Solidarity goes two ways," he said, repeating that the new 'national unity' government created by the two main Greek political parties must confirm in writing that they endorse the commitments arising from the agreement reached by Eurogroup leaders on October 27.
Rehn repeated that the 6th tranche of bailout loans to Greece will be disbursed only when it is absolutely clear that the Greek side is committed to the goals and policies foreseen under the Oct. 27 agreement and backs the new EU-IMF economic programme for the country.
Asked to comment on the latest statement made by main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras concerning the demand that he co-sign a letter agreeing to the terms of the bailout loan, Rehn repeated that the unilateral announcement of a referendum had damaged relations of confidence between Greece and the Eurozone, which now had to be restored.