A cloud of ambivalent visits

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 28/02/2017 0 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

Much political capital has been spent quarreling over the Eurogroup February 20 and other meetings (especially the one of Angela Merkel with Christine Lagarde) over the Greek Programme: the real outcome will take some time to become known, but no real good-will seems to be generated.

 

As is usual in such circumstances, a number of ambivalent visits will now take charge of specifics. The technical SWAT teams of Greece's creditors will be sifting through new piles of data (the Greek authorities think earlier calculations, especially those with IMF authorship, have been based on out-of-date data), discussing structural measures and fiscal adjustments.

 

Soon afterwards - or so it is hoped - the core team of the Troika (or rather the Quartet: European Commission, ECB, ESM, IMF) will be in Athens for more in-depth and/or politically sensitive talks. To result in something closer to an agreement of Greece with its creditors allowing the Adjustment Programme to keep going and the financing needs of Greece to be covered (with a July 2017 impasse looming large).

 

Still, there is a further trip to Athens that could prove even more disturbing. Danielle Nouy of the SSM - the banking supervision arm of the ECB - along with Rolf Klug, who focuses on systemic Greek banks, will pay a visit fraught with risks, NPLs of Greek systemic banks keep mounting while deposits seepage has come back to haunt bank solvency. If this trend does not reverse, a (fourth) bank recapitalisation may become a necessity, even before the 2018 ECB stress-test routine: with the bail-in bugaboo down the road, this is no pleasant occurence.

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