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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Eurogroup Statement On Greece; Greek Government 'Perturbed'

Eurogroup statement on Greece - Press Release


"The Eurogroup welcomes the progress that has been made in reaching full staff-level agreement between Greece and the institutions in the context of the second review of the ESM programme. In particular, the Eurogroup welcomes the agreement with the European institutions on a budget for 2017, which confirms the agreed primary balance target of 1.75% of GDP and which allows for the national rollout of the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI), which establishes a genuine social safety net. The Eurogroup notes that staff-level agreement should include measures to reach the agreed fiscal target for 2018 (a primary balance of 3.5% of GDP), as well as reforms to enhance growth and cost competitiveness, including further substantial reforms of the labour market, the opening up of closed professions and the removal of barriers for investment".

Coalition seems perturbed by implications of decisions taken at Eurogroup, eKathimerini

"The government spokesman was adamant that the coalition would not agree to the adoption of any new measures in order to meet the 3.5 percent primary surplus target after 2018".

Greece turns from Sisyphus into Hercules, John Foley, BreakingViews, Reuters

"There is therefore room for a compromise. A final deal might see Greece meet the 3.5 percent target but only for a year or two – or lower the target to, say, 2.5 percent. But Athens will have to give something to get something. Half of the country’s wage and pension earners pay no income tax. The state transfers around 10 percent of GDP into the pension system – four times the euro zone average – yet the government denies it is too generous". (The views expressed in this article are not those of Reuters News).

SYRIZA vs. SYRIZA: Ruling Party Calls on Greeks to Strike Against Government Policies! Greek Reporter

German FinMin: Only Reforms can Keep Greece in Euro Zone, Greek Reporter

PM Tsipras' Unilateral Actions, To Vima - Η «μονομερής ενέργεια» της παροχολογίας Τσίπρα -
"Εν μέσω πιέσεων για τα δημοσιονομικά πλεονάσματα ο Πρωθυπουργός τα μοιράζει στους συνταξιούχους και αναζωπυρώνει τα εκλογικά σενάρια....

Αν ο κ. Τσίπρας επιθυμεί να την κλείσει, είναι μάλλον ασύμβατο με μία τέτοια επιδίωξη να ανακοινώνει τα εξής: 

προσλήψεις 5.000 νοσηλευτών και γιατρών

άμεση επιστροφή της 13ης σύνταξης σε όσους σήμερα εισπράττουν από 850 ευρώ και κάτω (617 εκατ. ευρώ για 1,6 εκατ. συνταξιούχους) και

άμεση αναστολή της αυξησης των συντελεστών του ΦΠΑ στα νησιά που σηκώνουν το βάρος της προσφυγικής κρίσης".

Polls or parliamentary vote on table as pressure mounts for more austerity. eKathimerini

"Tsipras has been keen to send out the message that he will not accept pension cuts, reduce the income tax threshold or sign on to further measures if the target of primary surpluses of 3.5 percent is not met. The IMF has repeatedly insisted that it will not join the Greek bailout program unless Greece’s debt is made sustainable and tougher measures are implemented...Analysts have interpreted Thursday’s announcement by Tsipras for a one-off supplement to low-income pensioners and the suspension of VAT hikes on islands in the northern Aegean as a prelude to early elections. Tsipras’s announcement, which the European Commission had been unaware of, has reportedly angered EU officials while German observers said that all it did was to confirm the view expressed by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that a reduction of the Greek debt – a key demand of Athens – will work as a counterincentive for reforms in Greece. The German minister said that it is undeniable that Greece has not implemented a whole series of reforms, and shot down the claims by “successive Greek governments that these reforms are difficult to implement in Greece.”

The Greek Social Media postings still have a sense of humour, let's hope the PM shares it (from Only True, Facebook):

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