Reuters: Greece appealed for liquidity at the Euro working group meeting

Greece made another plea to the eurozone for cash to avert bankruptcy but was told to present an improved list of economic reforms within six working days for finance ministers to pave the way for any more lending, EU officials said on Thursday.

Athens appealed for liquidity support at the Euro working group meeting in Brussels on Wednesday night but was told there must first be progress on the stalled list of measures to make public finances sustainable.

“From the Greek side there was a strong statement that liquidity is getting really bad and there was an appeal to release some type of liquidity support before the euro zone finance ministers’ meeting on April 24,” a euro zone aide said.

“But no one knows how this could be done – there is no willingness to provide support before there is some progress in terms of the reform programme,” the official said.

Greece told the same forum last week that it would have difficulty paying back an instalment to the IMF due on Thursday and covering its expenses for wages and pensions. But it subsequently said it would make the IMF payment on time.

Officials said euro zone experts were not convinced the liquidity position was a dire as portrayed by Athens, and some suspected an attempt to scare creditors into releasing funds.

Greece’s creditors are determined to use their leverage to push through long delayed reforms that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist government is resisting on social grounds.

“The mood was better than last time, but the substance was as murky as ever,” another euro zone official said of Wednesday’s talks.

There was a slight improvement in technical cooperation between Greece and the lenders, but little progress on the content of the reforms.

“We are still lacking detail on specific measures, especially in terms of their fiscal implication and time is getting very short — decisions should be made on April 24 which is the next meeting of the Eurogroup in Riga,” he said.

Reuters