All Is Forgiven In Athens

Creditors are pleased with the good little boys and girls of Greece.
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It is Friday, and so we are legally obligated to provide an update on the breaking of baklava between Greece and the “allies” to whom it owes money. And it’s actually a pretty upbeat one: Just a month after talking about how much “trust” had been squandered by a certain prime minister and his sartorially-challenged former finance minister, it’s all “kumbaya” in Athens. In fact, don’t worry about today’s deadline: Take €6 billion as a reward for being such good little boys and girls.

In a statement from the European Commission, together with the European Central Bank, the four creditor institutions acknowledged the "very good cooperation of the Greek authorities during the review mission, which has made possible this agreement after several months of negotiations."

Greece could get 6.04 billion euros in bridge financing if euro zone finance ministers cannot agree on the planned third bailout for Athens when they meet on Friday, according to German newspaper Bild, citing a European Commission proposal for the meeting….

Athens must make a 3.2 billion euro debt payment to the European Central Bank on Aug. 20.

But, of course, this is Greece, and as we have said before and will say again, it wouldn’t be Greece without some bad news, too.

The new forecast, prepared by European Union officials in a document seen by The Wall Street Journal, predicts sharply higher Greek debt than Europe had previously hoped and shows just how far Greece is from escaping its marathon crisis.

Or some German finger-wagging.

Asked whether the bailout was a bluff package given that the creditors had already shown some leniency toward Greece on budget targets and some reform projects had been postponed, Spahn told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper: "The timetable must be adhered to. That must be binding."

"The 86 billion euros in aid will only be paid out gradually over the next three years. For that the implementation will be continually monitored and payments will also depend on successes," the Passau daily quoted him as saying.

Or some shouting into the wind.

"We look forward to working with the authorities to develop their (economic) program in more detail and for Greece's European partners to make decisions on debt relief that will allow Greece's debt to become sustainable," IMF Greece mission chief Delia Velculescu said in a statement.

Greece’s creditors praise Athens’ cooperation before Friday’s Eurogroup [Reuters]
Greece to get 6 billion euros in bridge loans if no agreement at Eurogroup [Reuters]
Dismal Debt Outlook for Greece Raises Pressure on European Creditors [WSJ]
Greece must stick to timetable to get funds: German deputy Finance Minister [Reuters]
IMF presses Europe to provide debt relief for Greece [Reuters]