International Monetary Fund is allegedly against the establishment of “special economic zones” (SEZ) in debt-ridden Greece. This follows on a news posted in a Greek economic news portal about the meeting of Greek Development Minister Costis Chatzidakis with the representatives of IMF, EU and ECB – the Troika – on Tuesday. Taking into consideration that the SEZ proposal was tabled by both the President of European Parliament Martin Schulz and the President of German Industries Hans-Peter Keitel, I’d dare say: either Greece’s lenders are unable to agree among themselves or someone is playing nasty little games with us – and our nerves.
Combating High Prices and Development on the agenda of Chatzidakis with the Troika
The issue of combating high consumer prices and boosting the competitiveness of the Greek economy dominated the meeting of Minister of Development, Costis Hatzidakis with the Troika.
The chief invigilators were negative (especially the part of the IMF) on the issue of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), while they were at first positive on the issue of concessions to borrowers, however without making a specific proposal, and the matter is expected to open after the recapitalization of banks.
According to sources from Development Ministry, Hatzidakis raised the pressing issue of development as compensation to the taken austerity measures, and it was agreed that further discussions will take place between the technical teams in the coming days to accelerate the EU Funds and various other potential development incentives.
The Troika for their part have also raised the pressing issue of lowering the prices in a range of sectors, considering that now the cost of living is very expensive for the standards of the country, something thats was agreed upon from the ministry side. They agreed to plan interventions in priority sectors such as retail, tourism, fuel, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, etc.
The Minister informed the troika that he will send a letter directly to market players so that they will record the obstacles [for lowering the prices] that exist in different sectors by end of September.
There was also an overall discussion about privatizations with emphasis on state-run enterprises and priority on OSE [Greek Railways]. (Full article in Greek Capital.gr)
If the Troikans cannot agree with each other, how can Greeks agree with them, when they -the Greeks- disagree with each other anyway? The issue is getting more and more absurd..
As for the issue of prices: how can prices get lower when the Value Added Tax went up?
PS Waiting for the official position of IMF on Special Economic Zones in Greece