Troika Puts More Greek Austerity in Limbo



IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

Just a day after International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials said they would push more austerity measures on Greece, they’ve joined the other two of the country’s lenders, the European Union and European Central Bank, in saying there will be a hiatus on more harsh conditions for six months.

That would push the prospect of more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions past the German elections, giving Chancellor Angela Merkel – who has championed Greek austerity – a breather from criticism.

The IMF had said that unless Greece steps up privatization and goes after tax cheats that it would order more austerity, although Prime Minister Antonis Samaras last month vowed that wouldn’t occur again after the Parliament approved a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan.

The newspaper Kathimerini said the temporary change-of-heart from the Troika does not mean Greece won’t have to keep meeting fiscal targets or face consequences. The lenders said they want to give the Greek government a chance to implement current measures and structural. Keeping down social unrest in Greece means the country’s economic crisis won’t be a pre-election campaign problem for Merkel as Germany votes in September, the newspaper said.

A high-ranking official at the Greek Finance Ministry who is in a position to know the substance of a meeting of Troika officials that took place last week in Brussels told Kathimerini that foreign auditors are particularly concerned about lagging efforts to crack down on tax evasion and expect tax collection targets to be met before the approval of any further rescue funding. The ministry official said it was clear that the Troika was displeased that authorities last year only conducted some 30 percent of tax inspections that they had agreed to.

It is hoped that imposing a moratorium on austerity will mean that the wobbly coalition government can focus on implementing tax collection measures as well opening up closed professions without sparking further protests, strikes and riots that brought down the previous government of then-PASOK Socialist leader George Papandreou.

The IMF, in a report on Greece, said it was anxious that getting tough now would cause a backlash that could weaken the government. In an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that creditors could approve another debt write-down for Greece if the country meets its commitments.

 


14 COMMENTS

  1. “IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that creditors could approve another
    debt write-down for Greece if the country meets its commitments.”

    Lagarde, who doesn’t pay income taxes while lecturing about taxes,seems to fail to understand we don’t need her approval to do a debt write down ourselves.  We are accepting these constant humiliations and foreign intervention because we are trying to take moral accoutability for our mistakes. If she doesn’t want that to happen, I would highly recommend to her not to feed communist extremists that will do exactly that by undermining our coalition government

  2. Just exactly how are we..?? You, and the coalition you mention, taking any moral accountability for your mistakes?

    The reason we this is all dragging on for so long, and why your coalition is under threat, is because it is yet to begin any meaningful and moral accountability.

    Honestly dude, what world are you living in….?????

  3. Stop sounding like a whining Syriza commie.  Our entire government is not responable for errors nor are all poor people victims. Nor are all rich people villians comrade.

    If our coalition government falls the communists will win the next election. Could you possibly be that ignorant as to think that you help Greece or the EU by ranting against a moderate coalition government that is clearly trying to reign in spending when  communists waiting in the wings to fill the void?  Seriously are you that stupid?

  4. What decade are you living?

     Cold war is offer comade. Communists lost because their violent oppressive system sucks.  Their ideology is based on exploitive self-righteous parasites ranting about corruption and the rich…. not about improving quality of life. (see North Korea)

  5. Communists Mao, Stalin, Tito, Pol Pot at al will save us… aka mass murdering thugs that brutally oppressed their own people and kept their nations poor for decades.

    Please STFU already. You aren’t helping the situation with your constant extremist anti-government and class warfare rants comrade. Every time some rich person is found to be corrupt or government official, parasites like you use it as an excuse to lump in everyone.  All ranting extremists like you are achieving is destabilizing Greece with your hyperbole-based anti-government rhetoric.

  6. Alex are you a comedian in real life ? the term is …The Cold war is over comrade ( a comade i think is a portable toilet)  Im not left or right so the whole rant carbage about commies etc is moronic do you live in Greece ? if so you can not possibly believe the mess in Greece is solely the fault of the Left when both groups have plundered this nation for 50 years

  7. This is another perfect example of the IMF and EU “meddling” and dictating to Greece…
    Did you know Ms. Legarde is currently under investigation in France for taking $100 Million in bribed money to help Sarkozy’s last re-election? 

    She’s no better than the maid rapist Strauss-Khan. What kind of Criminals are heading and working at the IMF???     

  8. Nice to see somebody else is finally sheding some REALITY on Alex’s absurd “commie” paranoia… Geez, Alex, wake up and get a life!

  9.  Be that as it may… this is still no excuse to support anti-hellenic communist extremists like Syriza.

  10.  You live in a fantasy world if you don’t think you are left or right. Just because you don’t say the words doesn’t change the fact you are left on political spectrum. (as witnessed by the fact you got “offended” by me slamming leftist extremists)

  11.  No you wake up. Syriza is anti-hellenic COMMUNIST party that aside from idiotic economic and moral beliefs treasonously collaberates with IMRO (also see behavior of communists during Greeks civil war when they murders thousands of Greeks)

  12.  I do not believe the problems were caused only by the left. The last ND administration was unprincipled and didn’t cut services when we had a chance (effectively behaving like leftists despite claiming to be right)

    However the current ND administration is trying to change that. They are making cuts in an attempt to honestly balances budgets. Unfortunately our leftists don’t want change. They shamefully believe they are entitled to liveon government handouts.

    The fact you are offended by me when I speak out against the fact 30 percent of the electorate currently supports communist extremism tells me all I need to know about you.

  13. Alex Iam not offended nor am I waving a red flag my political spectrum ( nice word by the way I have a sneaky suspicion you actually have a brain  ) is Greek and I am a Greek who is sick and tired of both the left and the right  I don’t need a label, the rest of the world has put enough labels on us and they are a lot more unpleasant, our politicians have made us a laughing stock . I simply stated that both parties have raped and plundered this nation for fifty years and those same people are still in power .   

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