Nowadays, everybody seems intent on pushing Greece faster and further towards an exit from its current (third in a row) Adjustment Programme and “to the markets”.
The current Programme review looks set to be completed on time, while the two earlier ones dragged on and on; the swap proposed to bondholders for some 30 bn euros of Greek paper that had resulted from the 2012 PSI operation was 86% successful (the 5 new series of bonds issued, regrouping some 20 earlier with a timeframe of 2023-2042 and carrying coupons of 3.5% to 4.2%, while the July 2017 foray of Greek to get fresh money from the market was for 3 bn 5-year rollover carried a 4.325% coupon); ESM head Klaus Regling made known his belief that Greece would be able to access the markets once the current Programme is over (on August 2018).
True enough, the selfsame Kl. Regling reiterated also that Greece’s creditors stood ready to grant further debt relief “if needed” once the current Programme would be over “provided Greece sticks to (agreed) reforms”. This kind of wording works two ways: on one hand, it lets the markets know that the Eurozone will stand by Greece to make lending to the country worthwhile; on the other hand it indicates some sort of conditionality, under which any further relief/support would be granted.
So, while the arduous process of coalition-building in Berlin – where “Jamaika” talks gave their place to an uneasy replay of a Gro-Ko (Great Coalition) scenario – still goes on, further South things look calmer. Until, of course, “something” disrupts the delicate balance achieved.