Greece agrees to new reforms but date for fresh payments and discussion on debt is uncertain
The Greek government has agreed Friday to institute new measures worth of 2 percent of gross domestic product by the end of the decade – after the country exits its third bailout program.
However, there is no scheduled date for new payments to Athens, which raises doubts about Greece's ability to repay creditors in July. Furthermore, discussions on debt restructuring, which have yet to begin, are set to be complex and long.
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Friday that there's been "significant progress" in talks with the Greek government after the latter agreed to legislate reforms affecting the country's pension system and widen the country's tax base.
Following Friday's Eurogroup agreement, it is now up to the Greek government to implement the pledged reforms and then technical teams will be able to conclude the second bailout review, an EU official told CNBC on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic.
Once that review is finalized, Greece will receive fresh disbursements from the 86 billion euro ($91.40 billion) bailout program.
"We don't know dates for disbursements," the official said. It all depends on how quickly Greece legislates the new reform package.
Analysts have said that Greece will struggle to repay 8 billion euros ($8.51 billion) it owes governments and private investors due next July without new money coming in.
"My guess is that the Greek government got a stern warning from the ECB(European Central Bank)/Bank of Greece that a further impasse would have meant a severe hit to the economy via capital outflows," Claus Vistesen, chief euro zone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told CNBC via email about Friday's agreement.
"We have to be skeptical of course that a reform pledge for 2019 and 2020 will actually be carried out, but it plugs a hole for now," he added.
But the big hurdle in Greek bailout talks comes after the conclusion of the review, assuming that Athens follows through with the pledged commitments.
"We will start discussing the Greek debt, and that's going to be a very complicated discussion," the official said.
The International Monetary Fund has said that before it joins the Greek bailout, the country's debt need to be more manageable. At the same time, European creditors want the IMF involved in the Greek process to give credibility to the program.
This has been a contentious issue between Greece's euro creditors, Greece and the IMF since the program began. This is because there's been strong opposition from European countries to grant signifcant debt relief before the program concludes in 2018.
The IMF has already agreed that debt relief can be applied after 2018, but it will conduct a new debt sustainability analysis to ensure that the reforms agreed so far will reduce Greece's debt. If that's the case, the Fund will join the bailout financially.
"As for the IMF, I would assume that they are in … otherwise I don't see the Eurogroup agreeing to this. Another way to put it is that they haven't said, as far as I can see at least, that they're out. So I have to assume that they're in," Pantheon's Vistesen said about the IMF's participation.
Yvan Mamalet, senior euro area economist at Societe Generale, told CNBC in January that it would be "very difficult" for Greece to go back to the markets once the program is concluded and fund itself at low costs if it hasn't lowered its debt levels.