Greece Strikes Bittersweet Deal With Creditors Hoping for Debt Relief



    The Greek government has reached an initial deal with the country’s international lenders from Europe and the International Monetary Fund regarding the second review of the country’s current bailout program.

    The last round of negotiations lasted for twelve hours and the deal was locked early Tuesday. The agreement will not come easy as the Greek government will have to pass more austerity laws to finalize the deal.

    Some of the agreed measures include the decrease of the individual tax-free income to 5,681 euros per year, while Greek pensions will also see some further cuts.

    Coming out of the talks, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos stated: “There is white smoke for technical agreement on all issues. This means that on the one hand the Greek government has to legislate the new measures and on the other hand the debate to conclude the agreement on the sustainability of Greek debt starts.”

    “As you can understand there were mutual compromises. We are pleased with some things, but we’re not so pleased with some other things,” he added.

    “There were also positive things, such as that they did not ask us for additional measures for 2018 and that we won several companies that were in the HRADF now going to EDIS (Public Participations Company, the new “Super Fund”), which has a completely different logic. Obviously the countermeasures are a positive thing. There are other things that make us sad. Like the expansion of opening of stores on Sunday in tourist areas and during tourist season.”

    Finally, Tsakalotos completed his statements with references on the debt and primary surpluses: “In the context of the debt debate, surpluses beyond 2018 are the other side of the coin. In both texts they are in brackets because this discussion is not done at our level (the level of technical missions), but this discussion is at the level of the Eurogroup where the Member States and the IMF participate.”

     


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