What is the exact difference between monitoring (as in PPM/post-Programme Monitoring) and surveillance (as in enhanced surveillance)? It is over this kind of semantics, as deployed by Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Eurogroup Chairman Mario Senteno - the former presenting PPM as the way ahead for Greece once its exit from the current Adjustment Programme is achieved, the latter referring to the European Commission’s proposal of “a so-called enhanced surveillance tool” - that the final steps of the ongoing negotiations of Athens with its European creditors will be played out.
While the Troika/Quartet (officially “The Institutions”) will be visiting for the last - or one-before-the-last - time Athens so as to negotiate an SLA/a Staff-Level-Agreement letting the June Eurogroup to conclude that the conditions precedent for the fourth (=final) review of the current Adjustment Programme are met for it to be considered completed, the real issue remains the Post-Programme set-up. Not even the pressure exercised by the ECB, following closely on the steps of the IMF or of the Commission, that credible debt relief be granted to Greece before it leaves the umbrella of its Adjustment Programmes has been enough to convince Greece’s creditors (=Germany) to move in a decisive way.
So, while everybody will be in the know as to what sort of debt reprofiling cum (slight) term ameliorations will have been negotiated before August 18, no binding Eurogroup decision can be expected. The markets - which Greece will have to accede tentatively in the very next weeks, but to which it will have to rely exclusively ever after... - will have to be content with the conditionality agreed upon as to the debt measures. While the current Greek Government will have to be content on the same semantics to go to the voting urns in the not-so-distant future.
Uncomfortable, for all concerned.