• No breakthrough at IMF-European talks but Athens optimistic
• Turkey suspending readmission deal with Greece, says Cavusoglu
• Opposition leader Mitsotakis urges European conservatives to back stronger border policing
• Mytilineos Group interested in privatization of Public Gas Provider
# New meetings between the IMF and lead European creditors in Paris have failed to produce a breakthrough on Greece’s debt relief, but a government official in Athens appeared confident that a landmark agreement will be reached this month. The official told Reuters the deal would allow Greece to make a full return to markets _ helped by the cash buffer and a credible post-programme surveillance regime.
# In Washington, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the fund is still discussing its participation in a Greek financing programme which will secure a debt relief for the country. The Fund is expected conduct its own debt sustainability analysis (DSA).
# Today, the ESM board of directors is expected to approve the release of a remaining EUR 1 billion earmarked for arrears clearance under this tranche, as reportedly, the institutions’ assessment of Greece’s progress in arrears clearance is positive.
# Turkey suspended a migrant readmission agreement with Greece in reprisals for the release in Athens of eight Turkish military officers accused by Ankara of participation in the failed coup attempt of 2016. The agreement is related to the EU-Turkey statement to reduce the migrants and refugees travelling to Europe. Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, insisted that Greek judges had acted under political “pressure from the West.” The eight officers who fled to Greece on the night of the attempted coup were released this week after the 18-month maximum legal custody limit expired.
# Greek opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has asked fellow European conservatives to back efforts to bolster external border controls and policing. “We have made the case from the very beginning that the borders of Greece are the borders of Europe … and we are looking for the unequivocal support of the EPP.” he told a European People’s Party event in Munich. The planning event was held a year before the European Parliament elections. On the sidelines, Mitsotakis held a meeting with Commissioner Oettinger.
# Evangelos Mytilineos, Chairman and CEO of Mytilineos Group, a Greece’s firm in Metallurgy, EPC, Electric Power and Gas Trading announced during its general assembly that the company is interested in the privatization of DEPA (Public Gas Provider). More announcements are expected after finalizing the form of the scheme, as he said.
On our Radar: The hospitalized shooter, his hunger strike and the anarchists’ attack
Convicted terror group gunmen Dimitris Koufodinas has been transferred from a maximum security prison to hospital after going on hunger strike claiming that his furlough rights should be restored. Koufodinas, who is serving 11 life sentences, was the lead assassin of the armed far-left group November 17. He recently submitted a third request for a leave which was denied. Two previous requests had been granted. Yesterday, anarchists, supporters of Koufodinas attacked the central Athens offices of New Democracy MP Miltiadis Varvitsiotis