Greece debt: EU says reform proposals ‘valid’

Top European Commission officials called the proposals “sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point”.

European finance ministers are set to discuss the list shortly.

Greece needs approval from international creditors to secure a four-month loan extension.

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to balance satisfying the demands of creditors with meeting his pre-election pledges.

His government wants to clamp down on tax evasion, corruption and inefficiency in order to fund social spending and alleviate what it calls Greece’s “humanitarian crisis”.

The statement from Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici signals the support of one member of the so-called troika that has supervised Greece’s financial rescue. The other members are the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The statement urges Greece to “refrain from any roll back of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions” of the troika.

The Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers were to discuss the list in a conference call on Tuesday at about 13:00 GMT.

Commit not to roll back already introduced privatisations, but review privatisations not yet implemented.

Introduce collective bargaining, stopping short of raising the minimum wage immediately.

Tackle Greece’s “humanitarian crisis” with housing guarantees and free medical care for the uninsured unemployed, with no overall public spending increase.

Reform public sector wages to avoid further wage cuts, without increasing overall wage bill.

Achieve pensions savings by consolidating funds and eliminating incentives for early retirement – not cutting payments.

Reduce the number of ministries from 16 to 10, cutting special advisers and fringe benefits for officials.




 

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