From Monday afternoon till Tuesday dawn of Tuesday, Greek government and creditors’ representatives sat in Hilton hotel for the fine touch on outstanding issues. The results is an additional austerity measures package without extra financing. This practically means a two-year extension of the bailout agreement Greece and the European creditors signed in August 2015. The additional program comes into effect after pressure of the International Monetary Fund which has an advisory role in the current Greek program that ends in August 2018.
Around 6 o’ clock, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos came out of the meeting hall and told reporters “the negotiation is completed, there’s white smoke.” He noted that the agreement reached was “a preliminary technical one” that will open the way to talks on the debt and the staff level agreement.
Tsakalotos expressed his belief that the agreement on the debt would move ahead now because there is no impediment to the completion of the second review such as a lack of agreement.
He added that the government will start working at all levels for the implementation of the programme as of Wednesday. “I am sure that the discussions on debt will now begin, he said, because they cannot claim anymore that there is no agreement on the measures and the offset measures.”
He added, there were compromises from both sides during the negotiations adding that “we are pleased with some things, and we are less pleased with others.”
One of the positive measures, he stated, is that they did not ask for additional measures in 2018. According to the minister, the issue of primary surpluses after 2018 is in parenthesis in both texts.
Regarding the tax free threshold to be implemented in the package of measures for 2020, it will range between 5,700-6,600 euros.
According to government sources, the draft bills for the agreement and the measures-offset measures will be tabled in parliament next week, so that they are voted on May 13.
Technically, the agreement will need to get the blessing at the Eurogroup on Many 22, so that the next bailout tranche of 7 billion euros in debt repayment in July will be released.
The deal sets also the conditions for the Eurozone, in fact Berlin, and the International Monetary Fund to discuss ways for debt relief.
“I am sure there will be now negotiations with creditors on debt relief, there is no excuse” Euclid Tsakalotos said.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said last week he will have the additional measures voted in the Palriament but will not implement them in 2019-2020 if no debt relief.
Greece will go into general parliamentary elections in summer 2019 the latest.
How many times didn’t Greeks and creditors sat together until the early morning hours in these seven years of bailout program?