EC en­voy urges re­form as PM seeks con­ces­sions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

On a light­ning visit to Athens yes­ter­day, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Vice Pres­i­dent Valdis Dom­brovskis urged Greek author­i­ties to press ahead with re­forms while Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras sought con­ces­sions for the ef­forts Greece is be­ing asked to make to ad­dress the refugee cri­sis.

“There is no time to lose,” Dom­brovskis told re­porters af­ter talks with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos and Econ­omy Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stathakis. “There is a need to work very ac­tively to mod­ern­ize the Greek state and econ­omy,” he added. A suc­cess­ful re­view by cred­i­tors will im­prove Greece’s cred­i­bil­ity and re­boot the real econ­omy, he said.

All three of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edged that the mat­ter of re­pos­ses­sions of pri­mary res­i­dences was a stick­ing point. Tsakalo­tos said both sides agreed on the need to ar­rive at “an hon­or­able com­pro­mise.” Not­ing that the cred­i­tors’ stance is that only mort­gage-hold­ers who are in real need should be pro­tected, Dom­brovskis added that ef­forts would be made to reach a com­pro­mise that “sat­is­fies all sides.”

As re­gards an­other thorny is­sue, that of the pos­si­ble im­po­si­tion of a value-added tax on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion, Dom­brovskis in­di­cated that Tsakalo­tos was pre­par­ing a new pro­posal. The en­voy in­di­cated that the cred­i­tors did not have a prob­lem with al­ter­na­tive mea­sures if they did not un­der­mine the fis­cal tar­gets that have been agreed upon.

In talks with Tsipras, Dom­brovskis said en­forc­ing the pro­gram quickly will en­able Greece to re­turn to growth. Be­hind closed doors, Tsipras is said to have pressed the EC en­voy for con­ces­sions on the pro­gram, cit­ing the pres­sures the coun­try is fac­ing due to an in­flux of mi­grants.

EC Vice Pres­i­dent Valdis Dom­brovskis (left) with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Eu­clid Tsakalo­tos.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.