2016-04-04 — bloomberg.com
Greece could again face the threat of being pushed into default and out of the euro if its current bailout review drags on into June and July, according to European officials monitoring the slow progress of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's negotiations with creditors.
Greece still hasn't cut a deal on pensions, tax administration or its fiscal gap, and other issues like non-performing loans and a proposed privatization fund continue to slow the talks, said the European officials, who asked not to be named because discussions are ongoing. The International Monetary Fund presents another obstacle, they said.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was drawn into a spat with Tsipras over the weekend, with the Greek leader questioning the "good faith" of fund officials engaged in the negotiations after WikiLeaks on April 2 published the purported transcript of an internal IMF call. Lagarde in response released a letter hinting that the Greek government had spied on her team and leaked the document. The transcript shows three fund officials discussing ways to pressure German Chancellor Angela Merkel into conceding to their push for Greek debt relief.
"My odds for another Greek crisis this summer are relatively high," said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Diba AG in Frankfurt. "Given the extremely slow pace of the implementations, the review, Syriza's loss of popularity in opinion polls and still little appetite for debt relief, the next crisis is already in the making. It's only a matter of time before it happens."
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