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Creditors call for written guarantees against future unilateral action

Greece’s European creditors are requesting the country’s Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos sign a written document guaranteeing his government would refrain from unilateral actions in the future similar to the recent social benefits PM Alexis Tsipras granted to pensioners.

Following Tuesday night’s EuroWorking Group (EWG) via teleconference, where the institutions rejected the oral reassurances offered by Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis that the social provisions were a “one-off” move only affecting 2016, the body is expected to meet again on Wednesday to clarify the situation.

The EU technocrats are putting pressure on the Greek side to commit in writing that it will avoid such actions without prior deliberation with the institutions.

A European Commission (EC) said Tuesday’s EWG meeting focused on alternative ways to overcome the problem, but the two sides failed to reach full consent. The lenders estimate that the Greek failed to comply with the terms and commitments arising from the bailout program, as the announcement by PM Tsipras of the social benefits was made without him previously briefing his European partners, adding that in any case no provisions could be made before April 2017 until Eurostat confirms the fiscal figures of 2016.

The Greek government hopes Wednesday’s EWG will not ramp up the pressure even more, while some sources says Germany is demanding for the imposition of equivalent measures counterbalance the provisions.

Furthermore, they are requesting that the medium-term debt relief measures be delayed until at least February. It is clear that some EU Finance Ministers are expressing their mistrust towards Greece until they are presented with a written document that guarantees no more unilateral actions will be adopted by Greece, while others are adopting a more conciliatory stance calling for the matter to be resolved in the holiday period.