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Greece to deliver new list of bailout reforms for loan approval

PTI Athens | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 24, 2015

Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras   -  Reuters

Caught between its own defiant campaign pledges and pressure from creditors, Greece’s left-wing government will deliver a list of reforms today to debt inspectors for final approval of extended rescue loans, officials said.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was already facing dissent within his left-wing Syriza party over claims it is backtracking on its recent election-winning promises to ease budget cuts for the recession-battered Greeks.

Two officials linked to the government said the list will be sent to Brussels early today and be reviewed at a teleconference of the 19 euro zone finance ministers later in the day.

They spoke on condition of anonymity either because he wasn’t authorised to make comments or because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Greece and bailout creditors have been in a standoff since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party won general elections last month on a pledge to tear up bailout agreements and seek a massive write off of bailout debts, totalling €240 billion ($271 billion).

But they reached a tentative agreement on Friday to extend the country’s rescue loan program by four months, avoiding the risk of a Greek default and exit from the euro currency.

The government official said reforms would focus on curbing tax evasion, corruption, smuggling, and excessive bureaucracy while also addressing poverty caused by a six-year recession.

A Syriza official in Brussels said that “immediate priority” would be given to the settling of overdue debts, the protection of people with mortgage arrears as well as the ending of foreclosures of first residencies.

“Creditors will be sceptical. These are notoriously difficult reforms and, in the case of the latter, usually cost money,” said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management.

“It will be difficult for the Greek government to provide concrete measures for achieving these goals, and they will almost certainly be unable to achieve much before the next round of negotiations in June.”

Tsipras is also facing pressure within his party.

Published on February 24, 2015

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