Euro Zone Lenders See Progress With Greece On Tax and Pension Reforms

Alexis Tsipras

Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras plans to complete the review of the reforms quickly to embark upon talks about debt relief and mend broken confidence in the Greek economy.

European Commission spokesperson has said that the European money lenders have brought about a significant development with Greece in respect of tax and pension reforms that are part of new measures that are to be implemented by Athens in order to earn new loans and relief from financial liabilities.

Officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who had come to inspect Greece’s development of reforms departed Athens on Sunday to take off from duties for the Catholic Easter holidays.

The spokesperson said:

“The mission has been productive. Significant progress has been made on the income tax reform.”

Adding further:

“The mission made important progress on key aspects of the pension reform. Work is ongoing and will continue over the Easter break. The mission chiefs will return to Athens on April 2 to resume the discussions with a view to conclude them as soon as possible.”

Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras plans to complete the review of reform sharply to invite talks on debt relief, mend broken confidence in the Greek economy and convince the people of the nation that their hard labor and forfeit over the last after six years have not been for nothing.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission stated to German newspapers that the discussions with Athens were positive, but stressed, “there’s still a huge amount to do”.

He continued to say that Greece at present has adequate cash reserves, but it is a priority to fulfil the reform review so that the next portion of funds can be released. Lenders and the Greek government adhered to the fast completion of the review requirements in order to indicate that the country was financial stable.

But the discussions have been prolonged for many months due to differences over fiscal targets, pension deductions and tax reforms among Athens and its European Union and IMF granters, as well as between the actual EU and IMF institutions.
The prime focus is on various options to bridge the fiscal difference of 3 per cent of GDP by the year, 2018.

The immediate sources to the discussion stated that EU money lenders had been quite lenient  at the time of review than the IMF had, who stated that Greece will require much bigger debt relief than the euro zone partners have initially thought.

Euro zone finance ministers are meeting in April and this meeting will be extremely important for Greece, which is also being confronted with a massive migrant issue.

The government has made a promise to reduce its pension budget by 1 per cent of GDP this year. However, the government plans to prevent the reduction of pensions for the 12th time since 2010 in order to aid the fiscal plan.

Greek government authorities have said that the IMF is against the pension manifesto that will increase pension fund payments and lowers the threshold on tax for those with low incomes. IT is also against a proposal that will give tax evaders incentives to reveal concealed income sources as a way of increasing the Greek tax revenue.

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