Negotiations with EC, ECB, ESM and IMF resume in Athens

1 February 2016
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The heads of the institutions quartet – the European Commission’s Declan Costello, the European Central Bank’s Rasmus Refer, European Stability Mechanism’s Nicola Giammarioli and the International Monetary Fund’s Delia Velculescu – are currently in Athens and scheduled to begin talks with Greek officials.

On Monday they will visit the Minister of Finances Euclid Tsakalotos, the Minister of Economy Giorgos Stathakis, the Minister of Labor Giorgos Katrougalos and the Minister of State Alekos Flampouraris. A European Commission officer told To Vima that a lot of effort was needed to convince the IMF to return to Athens. Overall, the four ‘principals’ will be in Athens for about 7 to 10 days.

The IMF will be on the offensive at the meetings, demanding 1.8 billion euros worth of cuts on an annual basis. Specifically it proposes a 6% reduction of all pensions, a 15% to 20% reduction of pensions over 800 euros and a 30% reduction for combined pensions (including both main and supplementary pensions) over 1,000 euros.

The IMF also wants the Greek Parliament to pass measures worth 6.3 billion euros (3.5% of the GDP) for 2016-2018, about half of what Europe is asking for.

The European Commission may be more flexible in the negotiations, realizing the importance and significance of pensions in Greece. Earlier in the fall, the European Commission’s Declan Costello recognized how pensions act a family income. As such, the Ministry of Finances believes that the Commission may support the Greek position that no further pension cuts must be carried out.

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