Greece’s outspoken Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will meet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Washington on April 5. The two officials are expected to hold an informal discussion regarding the Greek government’s reforms list.
According to a statement issued by the Greek Finance Ministry, the unscheduled meeting would be “an informal discussion of Greece’s reform plan,” while according to another government official Mr. Varoufakis will also hold meetings with US Treasury officials on Monday. The meeting comes only three days before the crucial Euro Working Group (EWG) meeting on April 8, which might determine whether Greece gets the long awaited financial assistance it needs to avoid a possible cash crunch and amid speculation that Athens might fail to meet its obligations towards the Fund. Starting from yesterday, the Greek government has launched a campaign, ruling out such a possibility, with various Ministers stating that the country is ready to make the 450 million euros IMF repayment by April 9.
“There is a cash shortfall problem if there is not any disbursement to Greece,” Alberto Gallo, head of European macro-credit research at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “I think this reform plan is a good step. It goes deep enough on the technical details; it can be deepened even more,” he added.
Greece’s lenders have frozen aid until it implements reforms, currently being negotiated between the leftist government and the institutions, participating in its bailout program. The last time Greece received bailout funds was in August 2014 and has already borrowed from state entities to avoid a cash crunch. The Greek leftist government officials are expecting that the revised reforms package Greece tabled earlier this week will be soon approved by the creditors’ institutions and that would signal the green light to unlock the remaining aid of 7.2 billion euros and lead to the return of some 1.9 billion euros in profits made by the European Central Bank (ECB) on Greek bonds.