IMF re­jects Greece’s com­pro­mise

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

A plan by the gov­ern­ment to ex­tend the op­er­a­tion of the au­to­matic fis­cal mech­a­nism be­yond 2018, with the in­clu­sion of cuts to pen­sions and the tax-free ceil­ing, which Athens had in­tended as a com­pro­mise so­lu­tion with the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, is run­ning into the op­po­si­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund.

IMF of­fi­cials say that such a con­ces­sion would not be enough, and point to a re­cent ar­ti­cle by Poul Thom­sen, in which the for­mer head of the Fund’s mis­sion to Greece made it clear that a re­duc­tion in the tax-free thresh­old and fur­ther so­cial se­cu­rity re­forms are in­ter­ven­tions that are re­quired any­way. They added that there­fore they should not form part of the so­called “cut­ter” in case the pri­mary sur­plus tar­get of 3.5 per­cent of the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is not met.

At the same time, ex­pec­ta­tions re­gard­ing to­day’s Euro Work­ing Group are very low. “Noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen to­mor­row,” a se­nior euro­zone of­fi­cial told Kathimerini yes­ter­day, ex­plain­ing that euro­zone fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials will sim­ply re­view the sit­u­a­tion in the stalled talks.

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