ECONOMY

Greece set to propose further reforms to creditors, official says

Greece is ready to submit additional proposals to its international creditors, a government source said Monday amid talks in Brussels on Athens’ financial lifeline.

“The government is ready to add further reforms to the list,” a government source said, adding that some of them would be proposed “immediately” to EU-IMF technical experts.

Greeces new radical left government, which is facing a cash squeeze, is trying to persuade its international creditors to agree on an alternative pain-free reform plan by April.

Eurozone finance ministers are discussing some of these proposals in Brussels on Monday, with Athens warning of a possible referendum if they are rejected.

“The goal is to have political progress” in Monday’s talks, “not to discuss technical details”, the official said.

The Greek measures so far include plans to streamline bureaucracy, raise revenue from online gambling and, in a widely derided suggestion, hire an army of amateur tax sleuths — including tourists — to help clamp down on tax dodgers.

The government official said Athens was prepared to submit additional proposals to combat tax evasion, including retrospectrive tax audits.

Going into the talks, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Greece must make concrete progress if it wants financial aid to be further extended through the summer.

“We have lost over two weeks in which very little progress has been made — we have to stop wasting time and start talks seriously,” Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister, told reporters. [AFP]