Without conclusion of the second program review there will be no discussion on debt neither we will enter ECB’s Quantitative Easing and consequently return to the markets. This dramatic warning came from Greece’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on Monday.
Speaking at the conference “Time for the Greek Economy” in Athens, said among others that the country’s creditors push for additional austerity measures for 2019-2020 even after the program concludes in 2018.
He said that it is neither fair nor reasonable that the International Monetary Fund and some [EU] countries do not want to reduce the Primary surplus target from 3.5% to 2.5%.
He reportedly has suggested to the NEIN-sayers, a compromise that this 1% difference of reduced primary surplus to be only spent for tax relief of Small and Medium Enterprises or for special sectors of economy incl in favor of competitiveness. When asked by journalists Tsakalotos refrained from answering whether he had already submitted this compromise to creditors and about their possible reaction to this proposal.
“it is neither fair nor does it have an economic logic that the Eurogroup always asks for more austerity measures. We have implemented the bailout program by the book, everything we have agreed upon, even the things we considered as absurd. But we cannot take further measures because there is a disagreement between the IMF and some EU countries,” the Greek finance minister stressed.
He also stressed that “only Norway that has oil resources managed to” to keep high targets in primary surpluses.
With regards to creditors’ pressure to abolish labor rights, he said that this would violate the EU directives and regulations.
As for Schaeuble’s claim that pensions in Greece are ‘much too generous’, Tsakalotos said that “social benefits for those over 65in Greece is 65% of EU’s average and 55% of Germany’s average.”
He concluded saying that the Eurozone does not gives solutions to problems, it only kicks down the can further.”
According to some media, Tsakalotos said also that
“without conclusion of program review, there will be elections”
By the way talking about Norway….
What is interesting is that that Norway promotes the Norwegian Social Model saying that it could be an inspiration for Greece. Much to my knowledge, Norway’s social model is strictly link to the oil resources and revenues.
As the @Fafo information on Twitter is in Norwegian only and there is no link to the report, I cannot tell you a single word about it.
PS social benefits for pensioners… that is THE GREEK JOKE of the 21st century