The “troika” of European lenders has become a dirty word — synonymous with onerous austerity and the public shame heaped upon euro zone sinners – and is nowhere more fervently hated than in Greece.
Now, the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, is offering the Greeks a fig leaf by planning to scrap the periodic, public visits of intermediaries to Athens sent by the European Central Bank, the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
According to sources close to the commission interviewed by Handelsblatt, troika representatives will no longer travel to Athens to check on the Greek compliance with the austerity conditions imposed in return for €240 billion in emergency loans.
“We have to find an alternative quickly,” the sources in Brussels told Handelsblatt.
It is a hopeful sign that Mr. Juncker is willing to meet the new left-led Greek government, which has threatened to stop paying Greece’s debts, half way.
While the commission president is reportedly sympathetic to the new Greek government’s plans to increase the minimum wage, he strictly opposes any write-down of Greek debt.