IMF and EU still at odds over Greek fund

Greece and its foreign creditors are still at odds over who will oversee a new privatisation fund, a finance ministry official said yesterday, an issue which must be resolved for Athens to qualify for fresh bailout aid.

European Union and International Monetary Fund mission chiefs began assessing on Monday Greece’s progress on reforms pending for its first bailout review.

Athens initially hoped a deal would be reached this week on all pending issues.

Greece wants to conclude the assessment swiftly to get another €2.8bn in bailout loans and start a second progress review next month, which includes unpopular labour reforms.

It hopes that passing the second review will help it regain market confidence.

Appointing a five-member supervisory board to oversee a new, umbrella privatisation fund is a key term in its €86bn bailout but has become a thorny issue in recent talks.

Creditors have nominated two members of the board and Athens the remaining three. Both sides have veto rights and need to agree.

Earlier this month a French finance ministry official said France’s Jacques Le Pape would lead the supervisory board. However, Athens said no final decision had been made yet.

Incentives to reveal undeclared incomes, reforms to liberalise the energy sector, banks’ bad loans and the transfer of state entities shares to the new privatisation fund, were among the issues still under discussion with the lenders.

Athens took steps this week to speed up the talks. It has promised to fulfil all demanded actions by early October.


Overshadowed by its giant neighbours it may be, but the smallest of the main Blasket islands, Beginish, is no less impressive in its own right.The Islands of Ireland: The miracle of Beginish

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten — Psalm 90How to tell an animal’s age in a heartbeat

We often hear how nature will do well, even come back from the brink of extinction, if given a chance and some human help.Birds of prey on the rise

In our country we still have places that bear no evidence of disturbance by man, that are in their pristine state and rich with all the elements that feed the spirit and deliver us into the world beyond the skin of the time and circumstances we live in.Unique ambience of Dursey Island under threat

More From The Irish Examiner