Govt: No to extra austerity measures after 2018

18 January 2017
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The Greek government is intensifying efforts to conclude a now utterly delayed second review of the Greek program without additional austerity measures and with a restoration of an obligatory collective bargaining regime in the country, the relevant spokesman maintained on Tuesday.

In a regular press briefing, spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos blamed the lack of agreement between institutional creditors themselves for the fact that the review is now months behind schedule, and especially the IMF.

In using the embattled leftist government’s latest catchphrase against the IMF, he said the review hasn’t conclude due to the Fund’s “unreasonable demands”, a leitmotif repeatedly heard in Athens over the past month.

The reference to “demands” means fiscal measures after 2018, given that the IMF has stated that current primary budget surplus targets demanded by European creditors are unrealistic, and will only be met via spending cuts, higher taxes or a mix of both.

Nevertheless, the spokesman said the Tsipras government was willing to consider an upgraded mechanism to guarantee fiscal targets — i.e. the extension of a spending cuts mechanism — if all other issues have previously been resolved, such as fiscal targets and even medium-term measures for debt relief.

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