Almost as soon as he signed it, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is reserving the right to change a guarantee he gave the country’s international lenders not to hand out bonuses without their permission.
Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras had Tsakalotos write the letter to appease Eurozone officials upset the Premier handed out 617 million euros ($644.92 million) in holiday bonuses to pensioners whose benefits he had slashed, and didn’t consult the creditors about the gift.
That led to a suspension of just-announced debt relief but the Eurozone said the talks could resume again on whether to lift the ban if Greece wrote the guarantee letter.
Despite that, the Finance Ministry stated that the guarantee isn’t iron-clad, the Athens News Agency reported.
“There is no additional commitment in the Finance Ministry’s letter to the ESM,” government sources said late Sunday evening, noting that “Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos’ letter confirms the existing commitments.”
The same sources said that if “outperformance is recorded in the future” it can be used in accordance with the institutions for the relief of the tax burdens and the creation of a cash buffer or for the payment of overdue debt; something that is clearly stated in the Finance Ministry’s letter.
(With information from ANA-MPA and the National Herald)