In the face of EU officials' claims that the next bailout tranche payment for Greece probably won't be approved at the Monday Eurogroup meeting, Athens announced plans of refinancing 5 billion euros worth of treasury bills maturing on November 16.
“The situation with the state's cash reserves is borderline,” Christos Staikouras, Greece's deputy finance minister told reporters on Friday. In order to avoid a default, Athens decided to auction 2.125 billion euros of 4-week bonds and 1 billion euros of 13-week bonds on November 13. It is now all in the hands of the ECB, which decides whether or not the bills can be rolled over and which has already declared on Thursday its reluctance to help Greece further.
David Keohane writes on his FT blog: “The ECB could raise the ceiling on the amount of T-bills the Bank of Greece can accept as collateral in exchange for emergency loans, thereby allowing Greek banks to stock up. This, at least indirectly, allows the ECB to still sorta kinda get its way.”
Greek bailout decision unlikely next week
In all likelihood the decision on Greek aid will not be taken during the Eurogroup meeting scheduled for November 12, EU officials confirmed on Friday, as the Eurozone finance ministers still await the Troika report on Greece's adherence to bailout conditions. It was suggested that the release of the next tranche of aid, amounting to 31.5 billion euros, would rather be approved by the end of the month.
Currently Athens hopes that the decision to disburse the rescue funds will be taken on November 19, during a Eurozone finance ministers summit, or on November 22, when EU leaders meet.
EU and IMF divided over Greek bailout
According to a Financial Times article published on Thursday, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund are divided over the Greek bailout program, which was supposed to discussed and reactivated at the Eurogroup meeting next Monday. Due to the disagreement, the talks on the rescue plan have been postponed and the payment of next tranche of aid, planned for next Friday, will most probably be suspended.
The Danske team of analysts believe that in the face of another delay “market pressure on peripheral countries could intensify and European politicians’ willingness to compromise could be tested again.” Greece will once again find itself on the verge of default, as Athens warns that without the next bailout tranche payment it will not survive beyond the next several weeks.
IMF presses Spain to request aid and activate the OMT
The International Monetary Fund pressed Spain to request a full bailout from international lenders, according to media reports citing a note prepared for the G20 meeting earlier this week.
The IMF also said that the European Central Bank commitment to the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program is critical.