ECONOMY

Greece sends proposals to troika in hope of breaking review deadlock

The Greek government is expecting a response from the troika at the beginning of this week after sending proposals on Sunday morning aimed at unblocking the stalled review of the country’s program.

The proposals sent by Athens contained a range of measures designed to overcome the two sides’ differences over the 2015 fiscal gap and structural reforms.

According to sources, the document sent by the Greek Finance Ministry includes the raising of value-added tax for hotels from 6.5 percent to 13. It is estimated this would raise some 350 million euros in revenues. The VAT rate at hotels had been cut in 2012.

Also, the government proposes that the unified pay structure in the civil service will apply to newcomers from January 1 and to existing employees from the start of 2016.

Greece is also proposing that it gradually phase out the exceptions to retirement rules, meaning that nobody would be able to retire before reaching the age of 62 from the start of 2019.

The Finance Ministry, however, insisted that it would not make any more changes to the recently passed law allowing debts to the state to be paid in up to 100 instalments. The government insists that this measure is already paying off.

“If they want us to agree, then we can,” said a Finance Ministry source as Athens waits for the troika’s response.