After nearly 10 years of crippling austerity, contraction, brinkmanship and bailouts, the Greek economy returned to growth in 2016. However this good news could soon be eclipsed as fears are raised that the Athens government could soon have to ask for another financial rescue.
The Greek government and its creditors — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the rest of the European Union — are once again at odds, with the Europeans asking Athens to carry on with reforms to pave the way for further disbursements of its 86 billion euro ($91 billion) bailout.
The second review of the bailout program has been postponed and, at the moment, there isn’t a date for creditors to return to Athens to make sure that the government is sticking to the terms of the bailout and therefore eligible for further payments. This brings into doubt the medium- and long-term economic sustainability of Greece.
According to Societe Generale, without the second bailout review concluded, Greece will struggle to repay 8 billion euros ($8.51 billion) it owes government and private investors due next July. Furthermore, talks on debt relief measures will be stalled.
“Without large debt relief, Greece will be unable to issue new debt any time soon. Another programme would thus be needed,” Yvan Mamalet, senior euro area economist at Societe Generale said in a note published late last week.
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