ECONOMY

Greece has gained a ‘few weeks’ with eurozone approval, Greek FinMin says

Greece has gained a “few weeks” breathing space after eurozone finance ministers approved a list of proposed reforms needed to extend the country’s financial lifeline, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

“We have won a few weeks. It is just a step, but one in the right direction,” a finance ministry official said, adding that both sides had agreed to refrain from actions “that are a red rag to the other side”.

Earlier Tuesday eurozone finance ministers said that reform proposals submitted by Greeces one-month-old left-wing government were “sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point” for further discussions.

A four-month extension of emergency support now has to be approved by several national parliaments.

Once this has taken place all parties have to hammer out a full-fledged agreement by the end of April so that Greece can meet debt repayments due in June.

The reforms put forward by Greece include measures to tackle tax evasion and corruption and to seek savings and efficiencies throughout the Greek civil service and government.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government also said that measures to alleviate poverty would have “no negative fiscal effect” and that the minimum wage would only be raised “in consultation” with Greeces creditors.

“We must outdo ourselves in the next four months in tax evasion, reform of civil service, corruption. We are in unchartered territory,” the finance ministry official said.

[AFP]