Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem sent a letter to Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis saying that technical discussions on Greece’s bailout between creditors and the Greek government should be done in Athens and not Brussels as the Greek side has suggested.
The Greek government does not want the representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission — the so-called “troika” — to come to Athens to monitor the progress of reforms as they did in the past. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis have told Greek people that the troika is dead.
For communication purposes, Greece’s three lenders have been termed “the institutions.” Regardless of what they are called, the lenders must complete the review of Greece’s bailout program and monitor the progress of reforms. There is a final bailout tranche of 7.2 billion euros remaining to be disbursed, on the condition that Greece completes required reforms.
On Thursday, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and Eurogroup president sent a letter to Varoufakis replying to his suggestion that the technical meetings and the review ought to take place in Brussels. The European official says the review should be done in Athens.
Here is the complete text of the Jeroen Dijsselbloem letter:
I thank you for your letter, dated 5 March 2015, and for the attached document outlining in some detail seven of the reforms planned by the Greek government.
This document will be helpful in the process of specifying the first list of reform measures you submitted earlier on 23 February, which needs to be agreed with the institutions by the end of April, in line with the Eurogroup statement of 20 February. The proposals described in your letter will thus need to be further discussed with the institutions. Let me also clarify that in the course of the current review the institutions will have to take a broad view covering all policy areas and I count on your cooperation in this regard.
I am pleased to learn that technical discussions between the Greek authorities and the institutions will resume shortly, and we have agreed that the discussions with the joint institutions will take place in Brussels. Technical work to support this process will be done on the ground in Athens jointly and together.
As agreed at our last meeting on 24 February, I would encourage you to work in close coordination with the institutions with a view to achieve a speedy and successful conclusion of the review.
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