الثلاثاء , يونيو 16 2020

Deadline looms for Greek reform plan

People pass a one-euro shop in Athens, 22 FebruaryGreeks have seen their living standards drop sharply during the debt crisis

Greece is preparing to present a list of reforms to lenders in order to secure a bailout extension.

The list to be submitted on Monday must be approved by international creditors to secure a four-month loan extension.

Analysts say a collapse of the deal would revive fears of a Greek exit from the euro.

Minister of state Nikos Pappas said the list would include measures to tackle tax evasion and streamline the civil service.

He told Greece’s Mega Channel on Sunday that reforms would take the Greek economy “out of sedation”.

Germany’s Bild daily newspaper, citing sources close to the Greek government, reports that Greece aims to recover 7.3bn euros (£5.4bn; $8.3bn) with measures to combat tax evasion.

Graphic showing how much Greece owes to whom

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild the extension agreement reached on Friday with European finance ministers had given the region “some breathing space, nothing more”.

“Now it’s up to Athens,” he added.

Greece agreed at a meeting with its EU and IMF lenders on Friday to submit the list of reforms before Tuesday.

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Analysis: Mark Lowen, BBC News, Athens

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (right) and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble address a news conference following talks at the finance ministry in Berlin, 5 February Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (right) will have to convince his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble, pictured here earlier this month in Berlin

It may seem like the naughty pupil submitting homework to the headmaster but Greece’s government has spun it differently: as proof that Greeks are now “co-authors of their destiny”.

Athens will send to Brussels a list of reforms it is willing to make in return for the loan extension. Its creditors will give their verdict tomorrow. If there is disagreement, the deal could collapse. If it needs fine-tuning, Greece has until April to do so.

The Greek government says it will suggest reforms to tackle tax evasion but in reality it will be forced to adhere to many of the austerity demands of the original bailout. As part of the deal Greece has agreed not to take any unilateral actions to threaten financial stability.

It will still try to push for civil servants to be rehired and social spending increased but ultimately the creditors will have the final say and for many here hoping that the hated oversight of Greece will end, that is a galling prospect.

Varoufakis and Schaeuble: No love lost

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‘Long road ahead’

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said that “the agreement is dead” if the list of reforms is not agreed.

Greek PM Tsipras attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament building in Athens in February.The new Greek government, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, was elected by promising to reverse austerity

On Friday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed that there would be no payment of new funds to Greece until the conditions of the deal had been met.

The four-month extension deal is widely regarded as a major climb-down for Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, who won power vowing to reverse budget cuts.

On Saturday Greek Mr Tspiras said in a televised address that his government had “won a battle, not the war”.

He called the deal an “important negotiating success” but warned that there was a “long and difficult road ahead”.

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Greek couple look at adverts for rental properties
Greek economy in numbers

  • Unemployment is at 25%, with youth unemployment almost 50% (corresponding eurozone averages: 11.4% and 23%)
  • Economy has shrunk by 25% since the start of the eurozone crisis
  • Country’s debt is 175% of GDP
  • Borrowed €240bn (£188bn) from the EU, the ECB and the IMF

Greek crisis deepens amid EU tension

Greece bailout talks explained in 60 seconds

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