BUSINESS

Negotiations with creditors begin on budget and reforms

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Finance

Negotiations began on Monday between Greek officials and the mission chiefs of the institutions, with the main focus on Greece’s achievement of a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2020 in the wake of the recent tax cuts to the tune of 1.2 billion euros announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The agenda also includes discussions on outstanding reforms such as the reduction of pending court cases concerning the protection of debtors’ primary residence by the so-called Katseli law, the expediting of electronic auctions, the new bankruptcy code, the new legal framework for bad loans, and the reduction of overdue state arrears.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras also sat down at the negotiating table for the first time with the European Commission’s Paul Kutos, who replaced Declan Costello, Nicola Giammarioli of the European Stability Mechanism, and the European Central Bank’s Francesco Drudi, to discuss the general macroeconomic and financial framework.

According to reports, the first hurdle in the talks, regarding fiscal targets for 2019, has been cleared, with both sides agreeing that Greece will meet them despite the relief package last May and the additional property and value-added tax breaks announced by the new government.

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