Sunday, May 8, 2016

Another Greek crisis not beneficial to anyone

A new Greek crisis will not be beneficial to anyone, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said in a letter addressed to his European counterparts ahead of Monday's Euro Group meeting, Greek media reported on Saturday.

The official argued that the Greek government has done everything it has promised under the third bailout deal reached last July regarding the introduction of reforms and even more, asking in return for some concrete swift steps from the creditors'side, Vima (Tribune) daily reported.

"No government could pass from the parliament measures worth 9 billion euros (10.26 billion U.S. dollars) instead of the expected 5.4 billion euros," Tsakalotos stressed in his letter.

The minister dismissed the request of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) for the immediate legislation of an additional 3.6 billion euros contingency measures to be implemented in case Athens fails to achieve a 3.5 percent GDP primary surplus in 2018.

After seven months of negotiations between Greece and its lenders, the two sides were very close to finalize the next set of 5.4 billion euro worth prerequisites for the release of the next bailout tranche to Athens, according to Greek officials.

  • However, the Greek government rejected as unconstitutional and not feasible the IMF's demand for the legislation of the additional contingency measures.

In his letter ahead of Monday's extraordinary Euro Group meeting, Tsakalotos urged the lenders to agree with no more delays on a comprehensive solution that will include the conclusion of the first review of the new bailout and a clear statement on the start of talks on debt relief that would ensure investors that Greece is on the path to economic recovery and growth.

The Greek official underlined that such a final comprehensive solution is to the benefits of all sides.

"Nobody should believe that a new Greek crisis, which may lead to another failed state in the region, would be beneficial to anyone," Tsakalotos stressed, according to the media report.

The letter was sent as Greek lawmakers were debating a controversial tax and pension reform bill. As the parliament was scheduled to vote on the bill on Sunday night, from Friday labor unions have declared a 48-hour nationwide general strike which has paralyzed the public sector, including mass transport services.

Thousands of strikers participated in a series of rallies in Athens on Friday and Saturday which will culminate on Sunday. (1 euro = 1.14 US dollars)
 [Xinhua -]

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