Troika sends 19-ac­tion to-do list

Gov’t says it is com­mit­ted to com­plet­ing eco­nomic re­view as in­spec­tors in­sist on raft of tough mea­sures

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Troika en­voys have sent Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gikas Har­dou­velis a list of 19 tough re­forms they want au­thor­i­ties to carry out for their lat­est re­view to be com­pleted in time for a Eurogroup sum­mit due on De­cem­ber 8, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

De­mands in­clude cov­er­ing a fis­cal gap for 2015 that the troika puts at 2.6 bil­lion euros, re­duc­ing the num­ber of in­stall­ments in which debtors can honor their dues, push­ing through a sec­ond phase of pen­sion re­form and com­plet­ing an over­haul of the tax ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tem.

De­spite the huge chal­lenges ahead, Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras and his coali­tion part- ner, PA­SOK leader Evan­ge­los Venizelos, agreed yes­ter­day that the gov­ern­ment will re­main fo­cused on com­plet­ing the cur­rent round of ne­go­ti­a­tions with the troika and se­cur­ing an agree­ment for a “post-mem­o­ran­dum” era next year.

Speak­ing to re­porters yes­ter­day after talks with Sa­ma­ras, Venizelos said he be­lieved troika mis­sion chiefs would re­turn to Athens soon enough to re­sume their lat­est re­view in time for the next sum­mit of eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters on De­cem­ber 8 where the ques­tion of Greece’s re­la­tion­ship with its cred­i­tors, and the pos­si­ble cre­ation of a pre­cau­tion­ary credit line next year, is to be ad­dressed. Euro­pean Eco­nomic Af­fairs Com­mis­sioner Pierre Moscovici had in­di­cated at last week’s Eurogroup sum­mit that troika in­spec­tors would re­turn to Athens by the end of this week. But the au­di­tors them­selves have yet to con­firm a date, not­ing that pend­ing re­forms must be im­ple­mented first.

As for the hoped-for new deal with cred­i­tors, Venizelos did not say he ex­pected it to be com­pleted by the end of this year, when the Euro­pean arm of Greece’s in­ter­na­tional bailout ends. He re­ferred in­stead to loom­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tions at the end of Fe­bru­ary, which con­sti­tute the gov­ern­ment’s key bar­rier as, if it fails to gar­ner the re­quired 180-seat su­per­ma­jor­ity for its pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, snap gen­eral elec­tions will be called. “The Greek peo­ple will have the com­plete agree­ment with the cred­i­tors...as soon as pos­si­ble and cer­tainly be­fore the pro­ce­dure of elect­ing a new pres­i­dent be­gins,” Venizelos said. The Greek peo­ple are faced with a choice, the PA­SOK leader said: “Ei­ther we will choose, as a peo­ple and as a na­tion, a so­lu­tion for which we have strug­gled, with sac­ri­fices... or we will choose other so­lu­tions, which are vague, shaky and high-risk.”

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