The Cyanean Rocks of 2018: National Debt and the name of FYROM

What is in store for us in 2018? No one knows because no one can predict the future, but we do know what’s contained in the 3rd MoU. The 9-month period that starts from today and ends in August 2018, when the 3rd Program ends, is crucial for the country, both economically and politically. How will the country exit the last memorandum, is the main factor of the upcoming political developments.

The main leverage is the solution to debt. “In 2018, the country may finally leave the rescue plan, but a‘clean exit’ may prove difficult if the Eurozone does not grant a meaningful and credible debt relief,” an HSBC economist stated.

As for us in Greece, let us mark in our calendars two important dates. Firstly, on February 2018, the Greek banks will start sending data to the Bank of Greece and to the competent European authorities for their stress tests, and according to Bloomberg, this is the same month the Greek government will begin discussing with the crediting institutions further measures for debt relief. Additionally, In February, an instalment of minimum 5.5 billion eurosmust be disbursed with the conclusion of the 3rd program review, in order to move the country to its fourth and final review in early March.

The second date is in April. The IMF Spring Summit will be held in Washington on 20-22 April and will be conducted under the microscope of the entire political system. The crediting institutions will gather and examine both the national debt and post-memorandum Greece, in general. The results of the Spring Summit will either confirm or disprove current political scenarios, for both contenders, SYRIZA and New Democracy, which is already placed in electoral readiness.

In the following days, we will hear about the preparation of Greek banks for the upcoming stress tests and the critical nature of their successful outcome. The results of the stress tests will be announced in early May and by June the country’s creditors will want to conclude the 4th program review. At that point, we will all get to see what will be provided in terms of the country’s debt settlement, since Greece has committed itself to high primary surpluses of 3.5% until 2022.

Will Mr.Yiannis Stournaras be proven right or wrong with regards to his assessment on the need for a precautionary credit line? And until then the FYROM name issye must be resolved. It is a tough crossword puzzle for strong readers that will determine the next political developments.