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
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.”