By Helena Smith*
A much-awaited review of the Greek economy – vital to initiating talks on the country’s debt problem - will begin this month, officials are saying.
News of the audit was confirmed as Athens and its euro zone partners prepared to finalize the list of measures Greece must implement in return for being bailed out for a third time.
Greek financial media, citing senior EU officials, are reporting that the review - the first since the country was inducted into its third bailout program - will begin in October.
This review will determine if Athens receives a €3bn loan tranche; it would be paid in two tranches, once the Athens parliament has voted on and enforced a list of prior actions.
Under the terms of the bailout accord, prime-minister Alexis Tsipras’ newly elected government has to implement as many as 105 prior actions, including structural reforms and budget cuts, by early November.
The measures are expected to be fine-tuned at a meeting of senior euro zone finance ministry officials conducting a Euro Working Group teleconference call on Friday. They will then be formally approved at a Euro Group of euro area finance ministers on Monday. Tsipras and his leftist-led government have openly said they disagree with many of the measures - on the basis that they will exacerbate Greece’s recession and debt deflationary cycle.
But earlier this week the young prime minister repeated that he will enforce them so that talks on debt relief can begin once the review is concluded in the coming months.
*Helena Smith is the Guardian's correspondent in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus
Source “The Guardian”