Cabinet to mull actions
As talks with lenders continue, PM, ministers to discuss how to unlock loans
After an initial day of talks with representatives of Greece’s creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to chair a cabinet meeting this morning to discuss the additional actions that must be taken to unlock rescue loans.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and several other top ministers met yesterday with mission chiefs from the European Commission, European Central Bank, European Stability Mechanism and International Monetary Fund. According to sources, the envoys pointed out the gaps that must be plugged before a tranche of 2 billion euros in funding can be released. A vote in Parliament last week approved 15 prior actions, only a third of those demanded by creditors. As a result, a Euro Working Group teleconference that had been planned for yesterday was canceled.
Along with the measures ministers must implement, the cabinet meeting is also expected to explore ways of enforcing some aspects of SYRIZA’s so-called “parallel program,” which is aimed at easing the impact of austerity.
In comments yesterday, government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili said she believed there would be no problem with the disbursement of the 2 billion euros, noting that in most cases, ministerial decisions will be issued to fulfill the pending actions. Other actions can be included in a second raft of measures, she said. That bill is supposed to feature tax hikes for farmers and an overhaul of the pension system.
Apart from Tsakalotos and State Minister Alekos Flambouraris, the envoys also met with Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis for talks said to have focused on the implementation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s “toolkit” aimed at removing barriers to competition.
A meeting between the mission chiefs and Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis looked at efforts to fight tax evasion and the restructuring of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE).