First review of economic programme must be concluded by end-Feb., Greek FinMin says‏

Ο υπουργός Οικονομικών Ευκλείδης Τσακαλώτος. ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ, Παντελής Σαίτας

Greek officials and the representatives of Greece’s institutional creditors need to complete negotiations on all pending issues and conclude a first review of the programme by the end of February, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said Monday.

Speaking in Parliament, Tsakalotos also expressed concern in the case negotiations are prolonged until May or June.

The finance minister said he was more optimistic now than he had been before the start of negotiations on pension reform and tax issues. While acknowledging that there are still hurdles to be overcome, he noted that there was agreement “on the basic architecture of these two major reforms”. Tsakalotos said the representatives of the institutions will return to Greece next week while technical delegations of the institutions are continuing negotiations with Greek officials.

“We expect them to return in a reasonable space of time. Not this week, maybe next week. From that point, we will have two weeks to wrap up all pending issues. This will allow the start of talks on debt, which will help create conditions to turn a page and for investments to return,” the Greek FinMin said. “There are thorns in negotiations. It is very significant to conclude the first review,” he added.

“Both the pension and the income tax reforms have a structural nature. They are significant changes that need to be made since they both contribute to the basic goal, which is to agree that in 2018 we will have a primary surplus of 3.5 pct of GDP.”


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