NEWS

Big bailout issues 'resolved,' gov't says as lenders keep pressure on

Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece's Parliament must approve a new raft of measures by the end of May

TAGS: EU, Economy

Government sources indicated on Thursday that the biggest issues in bailout talks with foreign envoys have been resolved with a raft of economic reforms to go to a vote in Parliament in the first half of May.

“We have solved the seven or eight major issues and a few scattered matters remain pending,” a government official said following talks in Athens with representatives of Greece’s international creditors.

According to the same source, the International Monetary Fund is insisting on reforms that the leftist-led government objects to but said he believed these disagreements would not scupper the deal.

Greek and foreign officials aim to resolve pending issues over the weekend before work gets under way to draft a bill detailing the new measures, chiefly further cuts to pensions and a broadening of the tax base.

Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis told reporters that the vote would take place “probably in the first 10 days of May and in any case before the prime minister [Alexis Tsipras] departs for a scheduled visit to China.”

The government’s aim remains to conclude the current bailout review in time for a May 22 Eurogroup summit.

In comments at the European Parliament yesterday, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the measures must be passed through Greece’s Parliament in May. He added that there would be subsequent talks on debt.

“Already last year we gave that commitment to come back to the issue of sustainability of debt for Greece, because that is the only way they will come back on a sustainable path and a sustainable economic future,” he said.

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