Greece wants to pay back IMF loan
Yanis Varoufakis has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on the repayment of a loan instalment of around 450 million euros, IMF head Christine Lagarde announced after meeting with the Greek Finance Minister on Sunday. Commentators say Syriza's representatives are just play acting, and expect a third bailout package to be on the agenda as early as this summer.
Athens must turn words into deeds
The Greek government will have a hard time restoring its credibility with its EU partners, the liberal business daily Financial Times comments after Athens' announcement that it will pay back its IMF loan on time: "Athens should, for example, be freeing up labour markets and reducing widespread early retirement, which damages the solvency of public pension and social security programmes. The problem is that the Syriza administration has generated such suspicion among eurozone governments that there is little faith that such actions will not be undone once debt relief is delivered. ... Syriza still protests it is desperate to stay in the single currency. Its actions suggest otherwise. It should dial down the posturing and concentrate on the substance."
Tsipras government will have to yield further
The debate over Athens's loan repayments will continue for some time to come, the liberal business daily Jornal de Negocios is convinced: "Every repayment by Athens to its creditors has become a moment of high tension. Athens is due to repay 450 million euros to the IMF on Thursday. And next week money market securities worth 1.4 billion, half of them in the hands of foreign creditors who will refuse to make another such loan, are due. It seems this will go on until Athens and the EU reach an agreement. And they will, because Tsipras's government will yield further. It will have to because it has its back to the wall. ... And this moment of tension will be followed by others: in the summer, at the very latest, the tug of war will resume when the discussions over a third bailout programme are on the agenda."
Trust and stability are called for
Greece must restore the trust it has lost, the tabloid Iltalehti believes: "The Greek government has made enough declarations. ... The time has come for the country to keep its promises and pay the outstanding instalments. One of the many things that are lacking at the moment is trust in the current Greek government, which should be seeking to foster such trust on a long-term basis. ... It's too bad that after all the government's toing and froing, the Greek economy is showing no more signs of growing and is instead once again contracting. Trust and stability are needed for Greece to get back on its feet economically. ... Far too much political attention has been paid to the country's economic problems in the entire Eurozone. Now that the Eurozone economy is once again growing, the crisis countries are also reaping the benefits. Greece's problems aren't over by a long shot, but hopefully the Greek government will do all it can to move the country forward."