The International Monetary Fund referred Greece to Brussels, when Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos presented the government’s arguments that cutting pensions was not a structural measure.
During the meeting with IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the head of the Fund’s European department Poul Thomsen in Bali, Tsakalotos argued that there was a fiscal space to implement the majority of counter-measures in a four-year period and the measure of pensions cuts should not be implemented as of 1.1.2019.
A Finance Ministry statement on Friday, that the IMF officials listened with interest to the arguments of the Greek side, stressed that the size of the fiscal space was primarily an issue between Greece and its European partners and that this fiscal space must be spent for the benefit of society and growth.
It is worth noting that it was the IMF that that had pushed for the further pension cuts as wells as for broadening the tax-free basis below 6,000 euros annual income.
Like every EU country, Greece will submit its Draft Budget 2019 to the European Commission on Monday, for the first time again after the 8 years of bailout agreements and fiscal adjustment programs.