Representatives of Greece’s creditors had a 3-hour meeting with Greek officials top officials Finance Minister Tsakalotos, Labor Minister Katrougalos and Economy Finister Stathakis in the first round of negotiations. Protagonist in this today’s meeting was Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos as the issue of social security contributions was top on the agenda, next to fiscal gaps.
Minister Katrougkalos insisted that main pension cut was out of discussion and that such an issue was not included in the third bailout of summer 2015.
Quadriga in Greece
The majority of creditors – that is the representatives of European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism – did not put pressure on the debt-ridden country and the discussion took place in a “friendly atmosphere” – as government sources describe the climate.
The problem seems to have been with the representative of the International Monetary Fund that rejects the social security contributions hikes offered by Greece, claiming that it will hit competitiveness. However, the IMF did not push as it could and asked cuts in main pensions and supplementary pensions.
The talks, the “tough negotiations” according to Greek officials, will continue tomorrow – in a similar friendly atmosphere, we hope.
The creditors want the program review to conclude before the Catholic Eastern on March 27th 2016. So that they can celebrate Jesus Resurrection without feelings of guilt and other negative sentiments.
KTG understands that creditors showed the carrot to the Greeks today and that tomorrow is the turn of the stick.