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FAZ: EZ partners “shocked” by Greek talks with technical groups

German newspaper FAZ states that the Brussels Group of Greece’s international creditors were disappointed with the teleconference meeting they had on Holy Saturday.

FAZ reports that Eurozone countries see no progress being made by the Greek government in anything that has to do with required structural reforms. The most recent meeting between the two sides can even be described as “shocking”, reports FAZ.

Much of the disappointment has to do with Greece’s reluctance to proceed in reforms with the Greek side not yet ready to talk about public sector pension cuts.

General Secretary of Fiscal Policy Nikos Theoharakis, Greece’s representative in negotiations, was described as acting as a “taxi driver” who said that Greece would soon run out of funds. This is a view that Eurozone representatives do not share, stating that Greece could fulfil its international obligations instead.

“If he cannot pay wages and pensions, then that is an internal political matter,” they said.

FAZ reports that the Euroworking Group has given the Greek government until April 20 to come up with a list of reforms so that a final evaluation of Greece’s progress can be made on April 24 in the framework of the Eurogroup meeting taking place on that date.

Greece’s teleconference call on Saturday, April 11, focused on creating thematic units of discussion for Greece to work through. This had been decided during Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ Catholic Easter meeting with International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde in Washington D.C. as well as at the recent Euro Working Group.

The Greek side hopes that a portion of funds would be released as Greece works through thematic units of reform.