Troika digs in heels for com­ple­tion of re­view

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

New leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing tax­pay­ers up to 100 monthly in­stall­ments to pay off their debts to the state will not be with­drawn, the Fi­nance Min­istry said on Satur­day after re­ports that the troika has ob­jected to the law, es­ti­mat­ing that it will add 1 bil­lion euros to Greece’s fis­cal gap.

“The dis­cus­sion with the troika is on­go­ing and cov­ers a wide range of is­sues,” the Fi­nance Min­istry said in re­sponse to the re­ports, adding that the leg­is­la­tion passed last month would be im­ple­mented.

How­ever, the clash over this is­sue is an in­di­ca­tion that the troika is go­ing to drive a hard bar­gain over the com­ple­tion of the cur­rent pro­gram re­view, which the gov­ern­ment needs to achieve be­fore the eu­ro­zone will the dis­cuss the de­tails of how Greece can exit the bailout at the end of the year.

Sources in Brussels told Kathimerini that the coun­try’s lenders are not will­ing to make con­ces­sions on key re­forms, in­clud­ing pen­sions and la­bor laws, to help wrap up the re­view. The troika’s stance ap­pears to be that the re­view has to be com­pleted prop­erly, even if this means Greece hav­ing to ex­tend its bailout at the end of the year rather than ex­it­ing with a pre­cau­tion­ary credit line.

Eu­ro­zone of­fi­cials are also in­sis­tent on the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund re­tain­ing a role in Greece after the end of the year.

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