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A one year expansion of the Program the new solution to the dead-end?

There are still many disagreement between the negotiating sites. The IMF insists on measures that will cost 1200 Euros per year for the Greek pensioners, while it also disagrees with the counter-measures the Greek side proposes.

The only issue where there seems to be an agreement is the acceptance of a 3% primary surplus for 2016, when the target was just 0,5%. Until now, the IMF was questioning the ELSTAT’s statistics, which infuriated the Europeans as these have been checked and approved by the EUROSTAT. There were at least 12 requests by the IMF to the ELSTAT for clarifications.

As things are right now, there are very limited chances of an agreement by the March 20th Eurogroup .

The IMF’s pressure on the Greek side to accept extra measures of a total of 3,6bn Euros for 2019, is intense. These include the further lowering of the tax-free limit.

The solution that may be proposed by the European side is the expansion of the current program for one year. The funds necessary can come from the 19bn Euros that were to be a contingency aid for the Greek banks, but were not used, plus 4-6bn Euros from the IMF.