Following a rather anticlimatic day in which Greece did precisely as the conventional wisdom expected it to, leading to a modest sell the news drop in the EURUSD (down to 1.4370 as of this writing), Greece is a long way from being out of the woods. Summarizing the immediate next steps is SocGen's Vladimir Pilonca.
George Papandreou’s PASOK government survived the confidence vote on Tuesday night. As expected, Papandreou obtained a relatively narrow majority, with 155 votes to 143 in the 300 seat Parliament (and two abstentions). The focus now shifts to next Tuesday’s Parliamentary vote of the Medium-Term Fiscal Plan (MTFS). The MTFS includes €28bn of additional austerity measures for 2011-2012 as well as an accelerated privatisation plan.
The formal Parliamentary approval of the MTFS is a necessary condition for the IMF’s quarterly disbursements, with the next €12bn tranche due in July.
The IMF will only disburse if the EU does
The IMF made it clear that the July tranche to Greece can only be disbursed if the EU provides concrete assurances that it will continue to provide funding to Greece as stipulated under the EU/IMF adjustment program.
Because of this conditionality, next Tuesday's Parliamentary passage of the MTFS remains a critical roadblock to provide Greece with a medium-term funding solution from the EU/IMF. Although not the most likely outcome, a failure to approve the MTFS could pave the way to anticipated elections.
Only the approval of the MTFS will remove the policy deadlock
Only after the MTFS is approved can the EU officially put forward a medium-term funding plan for Greece, through to 2014. And only once Greece is funded for at least the next twelve months will the IMF give its official consent to its share of the quarterly disbursement (€3.3bn).
Assuming a parliamentary majority is reached on the MTFS, a decision from the EU on Greece’s medium-term funding – at least in principle -- could be reached at the EU Meeting on 3 July, rather than 11 July as initially suggested by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn. That would then clear the way for the IMF to authorise its share of the quarterly disbursements, too.