A 48 hour deadline was requested by the Greek government in order to answer to the questions sent by ESM regarding the social “bonus” the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced earlier this month.
The Greek government is studying closely the ESM’s e-mail in order to avoid any “traps”. The government has no problem accepting that the “bonus” should not be given again next year, but they want to be extra careful regarding the commitment to follow the set objectives in case there is a deviation from the targets by April 2017, as this could imply further cuts in pensions.
It is doubtful, however, if the answer will satisfy the ESM as well as Berlin. The answer is expected sometime early next week.
Another scenario, is that countries in line with Berlin’s positions will consider the ESM’s e-mail “too soft” and demand more from Athens. This exchange of e-mails could go on as late as the 5th or 12th of January, something that will push any debt relief measures further into the future.
What concerns the Greek government is that the social “bonus” was given based on the surplus that according to Greece’s lenders has not been verified yet.