Commissioner Rehn: Talks About Debt And New Package in Summer

Olli Rehn, CommissionerIn an interview with the Wall Street Journal, EU Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the revision of the Greek bailout package, which has been postponed for the third time now, will be completed “in the next few months,” heightening concerns that the package totaling €240 billion is in danger of going off track.

As the return date of the Troika to Greece is still open, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro hopes that the task force will complete its inspection before the end of January, followed by the Troika soon after.

“Greece must do its homework,” said the commissioner in reference to the delays in the negotiations on the fiscal and structural reforms, which have stalled further discussions.

Greece won’t get more funding unless the inspection is completed, said Rehn. Furthermore he highlighted that the short-term goals are to secure the funds for the second half of 2014 and the completion of the recapitalization of the Greek banking system.

Discussions on the fiscal plan for 2015-2016 and the holes it may subsequently create in the budget, as well as the debt reduction, are set to be held during the summer, said the commissioner. These should have commenced in the spring after the primary surplus was confirmed, notes the Wall Street Journal.

“The timing is crucial,” adds the newspaper, as the upcoming local elections in May are important for the coalition government of Antonis Samaras, who is under intense pressure from main opposition SYRIZA. Successfully completing the negotiations would boost the prime minister’s position, although this seems unlikely before the elections.