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Crucial program review negotiations end without agreement

The critical negotiations between Greece and the lenders aiming to conclude the second program review …concluded at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday without agreement. Main issues that still remain open are the Labor and the Fiscal ones.

There was some convergence in the fiscal issues, the gap decreased to 600 million euros. It seems as if there are still ways for further decrease with Greece’s creditors to eye mainly defense expenditure. Both sides could not agree also on the issues of settlements outside the courts, on privatization of Public Power Company, the claw back, decreases in Value Added Tax as wells as on the procedure of joint collection of taxes and social security contributions by the tax authorities.

Creditors reportedly want privatization of 25% of the PPC and not just of 17%.

With regards to labor issues, creditors insists of mass lay-offs in big companies, and form mini jobs to turn into zero hours contracts.

Citing a government official involved in the negotiations, private Skai TV reports that “there will be no more negotiations in Athens but a conference call before the Euro Working Group on November 28th.” According to the same source, “the aim for political agreement at the Eurogroup meeting on December 5th does not change, however the implementation of what has been agreed must be verified, possibly by January.”

In the draft text of the institutions, there is no provision for primary surpluses for the years 2019 and 2020, “because the institutions representatives are not authorized to discuss any modification of the agreed targets. The source pointed out, however, that the target for 3,5% primary surplus for 2018 remains unchanged because “it is written on a stone and it does not change.

Despite the willingness of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to make concessions it looks as if the creditors’ demands move in radical atmospheric levels.

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