As noted on Friday, the Greek soap opera, in which Europe pretends to bail out Greece when it is just bailing out its insolvent banks by not touching the status quo, and Greece pretends to reform and comply with austerity reforms when it merely continues to spend as before until the money runs out and the entire act is repeated, is about to enter its third act.
Yesterday, Greek Kathimerini reported that the reason why the Troika has put Greece on ice and has is behind in the implementation of 153 actions demanded by its lenders, according to a timetable compiled by the Finance Ministry. "Of the outstanding actions, 57 are the responsibility of the Finance Ministry, 17 fall to the Development Ministry, another 17 to the Labor Ministry and eight to the Administrative Reform Ministry. The rest are divided among other ministries. A number of the actions have yet to be completed as the government remains in discussions with the troika about the measures. Inspectors are expected to return to Athens later this month but a date has not yet been fixed." In other words, the bulk of the conditions agreed to as part of the second bailout have yet to be met by Greece.
So what happens next? Why a third Greek bailout of course.
As reported by Spiegel over the weekend, citing a five-page German finance ministry 'position paper', Schauble is preparing the ground for a third aid package for Greece that would amount to €10-20 billion. When will the package be deployed? By May. Because that's when the European elections take place and when the next major Greek debt redemption takes place: after all can't have even the tiniest gust of wind blow on Europe's impecable house of cards...
The possibilities outlined include a further debt haircut that would mainly hit public creditors or a «limited additional program» in which Greece could receive fresh money from the European rescue fund, the report said.
The package could amount to 10 billion to 20 billion euros, said Der Spiegel, and would be tied to commitments from Athens to undertake reforms with more vigour.
A spokesman for the finance ministry denied that a new debt writedown was planned for Greece.
"There is no new situation,» said the spokesman and referred to previous statements made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The minister has in the past said there could be a remaining need for some refinancing but any further package would be far smaller than the aid granted so far.
Greece has received 240 billion euros of support in two aid packages from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the euro zone since 2010 in return for spending cuts and reforms.
A senior EU official said last month that Greece was not in urgent need of funds now and extra money would only be needed when Greece must pay back debt. Its next big redemption date is in mid-May.
That said, by now nobody cares as pretty much everyone has figured out the game, which will continue on its unsustainable path until one day it no longer can.