Creditors Chase Consensus With Greece to Unlock More Aid

Greece and its creditors remained at loggerheads with time running out to unlock aid and avert a default.

The sides haven’t even set 2015 budget targets, let alone on policies to meet them, an official representing creditors said Monday, asking not to be named as talks aren’t public. Euro-area finance ministers said in February that a list of measures must be agreed upon by the end of April.

European leaders want Greece to do more to revamp its debt-burdened economy, with progress to be reviewed on April 24 in Riga, Latvia, when finance ministers from the currency bloc meet. European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview in Washington that creditors might need to wait until mid-May to see what Greece can deliver.

 “The situation with Greece needs to be resolved soon,” Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said in a Bloomberg Television interview Monday. “It would be a negative development if no progress is made at the meeting in Riga.”

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs meetings of his euro-region counterparts, said in Washington on Saturday that a deal won’t be ready by the Riga gathering.

In Greek Court

Greek bonds fell as yields on three-year notes rose 115 basis points to 27.9 percent as of 2:45 p.m in Athens. With the country running out of cash, credit-default swaps suggested there is about an 84 percent chance of Greece being unable to repay its debt in five years, compared with about 67 percent at the start of March, according to CMA data.

A default on the country’s 313 billion euros ($336 billion) of obligations and an exit from the euro would be traumatic for the currency area and plunge Greece into a major crisis, European Central Bank governing council member Christian Noyer told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published Monday.

“The ball is in the court of the Greek government,” he said.

That message was echoed by the Finance Ministry in Germany, Greece’s biggest country creditor.

“The coordination process must pick up considerable momentum and the responsibility for that lies with the Greek government,” ministry spokeswoman Friederike von Tiesenhausen said in Berlin.


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.