The Greek government sent an email to the Troika on Saturday evening, containing all the measures that Greece is willing to commit to, if the Troika returns to Athens.
The next few hours are considered extremely critical, as the lenders will reveal their true colors. Do they really want to return to Athens for the evaluation’s completion or are they determined to lead Greece to a Memorandum extension?
The list of measures was not easy to complete. The Greek government tried hard to avoid raising the lower VAT rate of 6.5%, while the 30% VAT discount on the Aegean islands is completely off the table. In order to offer a balance, the government proposed a VAT increase in tourism from 6.5% to 13%, since tourism is the only industry that has shown positive results during the crisis.
Specifically, the Greek government has added the following measures:
Tourism VAT increase for hotels from 6.5% to 13%.
Freezing pensions during the years 2016 and 2017.
Increasing the minimum to 20 years of insurance for people born after 1975.
Stopping pensions before the age of 62, a measure that will be fully implemented in 2019 after a three-year transitional period.
Stricter criteria for the Social Solidarity Benefit for Pensioners in order to save 80 million euros.
Salary reduction for the newly employed in the public sector as of January 1, 2015.
As of January 7, 2015, special benefits for employees at the Greek Finance Ministry will be abolished and replaced with an efficiency bonus.
According to Greek officials, the government plans on making changes to the new tax office setting, if needed. However, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wants to avoid changing the 100-installment plan.