NEWS

Reforms to be done by early October, Greek gov’t says

TAGS: Politics, Economy

Ahead of Friday’s Eurogroup, government sources indicated Tuesday that they expected the so-called prior actions tied to the next bailout tranche of 2.8 billion euros to be completed by the first week of October.

The comments followed a cabinet meeting chaired by the country’s leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which focused on the progress of bailout reforms and preparations for a summit of European and Mediterranean leaders on Friday, where the Greek premier aims to secure support for a front against austerity and in favor of debt relief for Athens.

Tsipras outlined his intentions in a telephone conversation Tuesday with European Council President Donald Tusk, who had called to discuss an upcoming EU leaders’ summit in Bratislava.

According to his office, Tsipras underlined the need for boosting the so-called Juncker package, named after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, which foresees billions of euros in loans for growth-oriented projects.

Tsipras also called for more flexibility in fiscal planning and measures that will boost social cohesion in Greece, as well as a more comprehensive European approach toward tackling the refugee crisis.

Tsipras is banking on Friday’s summit to raise the profile of his leftist-led government as it faces an uphill struggle to enforce more austerity ahead of what promises to be tough talks with international creditors this fall.

He also aims to use his speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair this weekend to underline that 246 million euros raised in a recent auction of four private nationwide licenses are to go toward social policy.

Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis lashed out at Tsipras Tuesday, accusing him of seeking to mislead people and not fulfilling his pledges. He said Tsipras was “openly mocking” the Greek people and referred to the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks coalition as an “inefficient” and “obsessive” administration.

Mitsotakis noted that a possible delay in the disbursement of the 2.8-billion-euro bailout subtranche to Greece would inevitably lead to more austerity.

He said Tsipras was “personally responsible” for the state of the country’s economy and the deterioration in the lives of Greeks. “If he cannot meet his obligations, even on an elementary level, he should resign,” Mitsotakis said.

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