Moscovici says ‘No’ to cutting primary surplus goal

19 July 2016
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European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici called on the Greek government to uphold its commitments arising from the agreement signed with its EU partners and the IMF during his visit to Athens and meeting with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Moscovici, who met with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, sang the praises of the Greek government for what it had achieved so far, but urged the government to push forward in a speedy manner for the implementation of the prior-actions with particular emphasis on reforms in the labour market, the super privatisation Fund, the abolition of tax privileges, the completion of the second review of the Greek program, among other requirements. On his part, Tsakalotos presented to the press the requests tabled by the government to the Commissioner that included more ‘freedom’ in managing the memorandum, the target for the 3.5% primary surplus to relax, the adoption of some popular measures for the less privileged like measures to offset the EKAS loss and the change of the law for the appointment of foreigners in Greek banks. Moscovici ruled out any changes in the primary surplus targets set. During his speech before the special joints session of the Greek parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs, Finances, European matters, Growth and Trade Moscovici urged political parties across the board to back the reforms, while he praised the efforts made so far saying that no there government had managed to achieve what Greece had over the past 12 months. He made it clear that nothing should be taken for granted and that no backtracking was permitted, if the recovery was to stay on course. ‘Political unity in Greece was one of the necessary paragons of reliability in order for the country to recover’,he told the Greek PMs.

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