No, it was not a breakthrough that the Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and his euro-zone colleagues agreed on last week, just another step along an arduous path – one unlikely to lead the country out of crisis any time soon. However, the planned return of the “troika” – the tripartite committee of the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) supervising Greece’s efforts to overcome its financial crisis – to Athens at the end of April is a sign that an end to the second round of reviews of the Greek adjustment program is in sight.
If the negotiations succeed, Athens can expect payment of further loan installments from the third rescue package created in summer 2015 – just before the Greek finance minister has to raise €8 billion ($8.5 billion) to repay capital and interest due in July. Without a new infusion of capital that will be impossible. It would escape bankruptcy once again.
But last week’s agreement is no reason to breathe more easily, neither for the Greeks nor their creditors. The country’s situation remains precarious; it has not yet been rescued – not by a long way.