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Informal Eurogroup meeting examines Greek progress

The informal Eurogroup meeting in Milan today will evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the Greek program after the negotiations in Paris.

Regarding the sustainability of the Greek public debt, a senior Eurozone official said, it consists part of the discussions with the Greek authorities underlining, however, that the most essential negotiations will be held after the completion of the evaluation. He also clarified that the analysis of the Greek debt's sustainability is linked with the fiscal performance in 2015.

The official reiterated that the member-states' obligation is to have presented their draft budget for the next year to the Commission by mid-October, which will then be evaluated by the Commission at the end of November.

The Greek government is opposed to the implementation of a third support program, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis told European Central Bank president Mario Draghi during a meeting in Milan on Thursday night.

Greek Finance ministry sources said that the ECB president told the Greek minister he was positive to the implementation of a third support program for Greece that could boost liquidity and facilitate Greek banks. Ministry sources said that Draghi was not as pressing on the issue as during the two men's previous meeting last July.

Banking sources said that the ECB's view is that with a new program, the European Central Bank could accept low credit rating Greek state bonds as collateral to offer liquidity to Greek banks. Currently, the ECB offers liquidity worth 44.6 billion euros to the Greek market through bonds.

Ministry officials said that ahead of an informal Eurogroup meeting in Milan, 11 Finance ministers met to discuss taxation on financial transactions. The Greek side said that taxation on derivatives products on state bonds created problems as it affected liquidity, and stressed that there should a distinction between hedge funds and speculators.

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