The troika returns to Athens today to begin an assessment of the second multi-billion euro bailout for Greece.

It is widely expected that officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will find that Greece will be found not to have abided by the terms of the deal.

This sets the stage for very difficult talks, as the new government attempts to modify the timescale of the bailout.

Meanwhile, the credit rating agency Moody's has warned Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg that they face losing their coveted triple-A status due to the recent escalation of the euro zone debt crisis.

While this is not the first time that the euro zone's fiscally strong countries have been warned their credit rating could be downgraded, the latest warning by Moody's is troubling.

The credit rating agency argues that Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are probably going to have to provide further financial assistance to stem the debt crisis.

It justifies this stance by pointing to the significant debt issues facing Spanish banks and regional governments, as well as the knock-on impact of higher borrowing costs for Italy.

Moody's also believes that the debt crisis has been deepened by an increasing likelihood that Greece could be forced to withdraw from the single currency.

If Moody's and other agencies, like Fitch and Standard and Poors, actually proceed to downgrade countries like Germany, it would raise significant questions over the ability of the EU's bailout funds to function as intended, and thereby exacerbate an already stressed situation.

It's against this background that the IMF, ECB and Commission officials return to Athens to assess a bailout programme which most believe is already missing its targets, yet one the Greek government is hoping to change despite resistance from its creditors.

Analysts will be looking closely at the outcome of today's meeting between Germany's powerful Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Spain's Economics Minister Luis de Guindos for crumbs of comfort.