Greece hits back at reports of euro zone ‘shock’

Tensions between Greece and its creditors took another turn for the worse this weekend, following a report that euro zone officials were “shocked” at Greece’s failure to outline detailed structural reforms and its demands for cash at talks in Brussels last week.

But Greece’s finance ministry firmly dismissed the report Sunday, saying it was inaccurate and undermined ongoing negotiations, according to the Athens News Agency.

It comes after German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), reported that members of the Euro Working Group (the single currency area’s group of deputy finance ministers) said they were disappointed by Athens’ lack of reform plans.

According to FAS, the sources said Greece’s representative asked where the money was “like a taxi driver” and insisted his country would soon be bankrupt, according to Reuters citing the German newspaper.

On Friday, Greece was given six working days by the technical staff of the Euro Working Group to come up with reform plans ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers (the Eurogroup) on April 24. Without reforms, a much-needed last trance of aid from the country’s extended bailout program will not be released.

Greece has been the recipient of two bailouts since 2010, worth a combined 240 billion euros ($254 billion). The country’s second bailout was extended by four months in February by the bodies overseeing its implementation — the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) — but there has been a distinct lack of progress on the reform front, testing the patience of its creditors, particularly Germany.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.