Alexis Tsipras faces more resistance as Slovakia backs Germany’s bailout stance
The IMF and the Eurozone proposed a deal which would see the country make more far-reaching austerity measures including pension cuts of up to 18 per cent.
But after Germany insisted the deal was not totally secured without laws being passed, Slovakia has stepped into the debate to insist it might cause problems.
After six months of tense talks, Athens and its international lenders – the EU and the IMF – reached a provisional deal last week on the reforms needed to release loans the country.
The Eurogroup of finance ministers should approve the deal at a meeting on May 22, provided the reforms are passed by Greece’s parliament.
But Slovakia’s finance minister told Reuters that now was not the time for debt relief for Greece, echoing previous comments he made last month.
Many analysts say discussions on debt relief are unlikely to progress until after Germany’s September elections, meaning the country could default on a €6billion (£5billion) payment in July.
Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said: “As for our friends from the IMF, we like them and it’s good to have them on board.
There is a relief that Greece will get its disbursements to get through the summer
“But I’m not willing to pay any price for their participation, green-lighting the IMF kind of debt relief – which Greece does not need.”
Greek government borrowing costs hit their lowest level in more than five years on Wednesday as Athens looks set to clinch vital bailout loans from its international lenders.
The yield on a 10-year Greek bond – an indication of the cost for the government to raise long-term cash in financial markets – hit its lowest level since the country’s debt was restructured in March 2012, according to Tradeweb data.
Analysts said optimism over the troubled southern European state unlocking the cash it needs to make big debt repayments this summer has even given rise to expectations that it may soon end a near three-year exile from bond markets.
Greece’s finance minister and central bank governor are scheduled to speak in Germany next week about the country’s prospects for returning to markets, although European officials have previously said this will not be until mid-2018.
The deal would see deep austerity…