Troika to ratchet up pres­sure

EU-IMF of­fi­cials back in Athens to­mor­row, ex­pected to de­mand more ef­fec­tive mea­sures, greater com­mit­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Greek gov­ern­ment is brac­ing it­self for an­other visit to­mor­row from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) – col­lec­tively known as the troika – as its len­ders are ex­pected to push hard for aus­ter­ity and rev­enue-rais­ing mea­sures to be ap­plied strictly.

Sources told Sun­day’s Kathimerini that troika of­fi­cials are ex­pected to go as far as threat­en­ing to stop Greece’s loan in­stall­ments if they are not sat­is­fied with the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to the eco­nomic poli­cies the EU and IMF be­lieve are nec­es­sary to get pub­lic fi­nances in or­der and to give the coun­try a chance of re­turn­ing to the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

The troika team is ex­pected to in­sist on a de­tailed and re­al­is­tic pro­gram of spend­ing cuts and trim­ming of the pub­lic sec­tor by 2015. The of­fi­cials will re­ject any pro­jec­tions that they feel are overly op­ti­mistic, such as po­ten­tial rev­enues from a clam­p­down on tax eva­sion.

Greece’s len­ders will also de­mand to see bind- ing plans for the sale of state as­sets and bolder than the ones the gov­ern­ment an­nounced last month. The out­line pro­posed by the gov­ern­ment last month would bring in a max­i­mum of 11.5 bil­lion this year and next, whereas the tar­get set by the EU-IMF team is 50 bil­lion by 2015.

The troika will also ask for the gov­ern­ment to speed up re­forms aimed at lib­er­al­iz­ing sec­tors of the econ­omy such as en­ergy, and mak­ing the la­bor mar­ket more flex­i­ble.

A new opin­ion poll car­ried out for Kathimeri- ni and Skai in­di­cates that a grow­ing num­ber of Greeks be­lieve that pri­va­ti­za­tions are nec­es­sary and that the pri­vate sec­tor should be given more help than the pub­lic sec­tor. The sur­vey in­di­cated that 74 per­cent of Greeks feel that sales of state as­sets are “cer­tainly” or “prob­a­bly” nec­es­sary. Seven in 10 also said that the pri­vate sec­tor must be boosted in the com­ing years, com­pared to 11 per­cent who fa­vored the pub­lic sec­tor.

Just over half of the 514 re­spon­dents said that jobs for life in the pub­lic sec­tor should end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.