ECONOMY

Greek Interior Minister rules out additional measures

Greek Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis has ruled out the possibility of the government adopting fresh austerity measures to meet the country’s fiscal targets.

“No new measures will be taken. The prime minister has said so a number of times,” Michelakis told Skai Television on Thursday.

In a report published Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund said Greece will need to adopt new austerity measures to the tune of 6.7 billion euros from 2014 to 2016 in order to make its fiscal adjustment targets. This is 2.6 billion euros more than foreseen in the agreement between Athens and its creditors for additional interventions in the 2015-2016 period, as there was no provision for new measures next year.

“I am not interested in what the IMF says. I do not care. I am interested in what is said when all three of them [the IMF, EU, ECB] sit down together,” Michelakis told Skai adding that Greece would sooner or later have to disengage from the so-called troika of foreign lenders.

The IMF report on international fiscal progress said that Greece’s further adjustment up to 2016 “will require additional measures, including the profits from tax administration equal to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product,” which in absolute figures amounts to 6.7 billion euros.

Greece’s Finance Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday evening in which it avoided making a direct comment on the report, but said that it also made no comment when the IMF had adopted “erroneous statements and assessments in drafting the original Economic Policy Program for our country.”

The IMF further reiterated its view that an additional haircut in the official sector is required for the Greek debt to drop below 124 percent of GDP by 2020.