Greece says will meet its bailout obligations, expects lenders to do the same
Greece will meet its bailout obligations to the letter and expects its interlocutors to do the same, spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said on Tuesday after bailout talks were adjourned due to differences over fiscal targets and reforms.
“The negotiation with the lenders should have been concluded long ago, since the Greek government has submitted comprehensive proposals which meet its targets,” Gerovasili said, noting that the IMF stance was not helping conclude a deal in time.
“Greece has categorically stated that it will meet to the letter the July (bailout) agreement, and underlines all those involved in the negotiations should do the same.”
Greece and its bailout creditors on Tuesday suspended talks on the country's austerity program until next week, after a new set of marathon overnight negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the meetings in Athens would resume April 18, with an aim to reaching an agreement by April 22, when he is due to meet with his peers from the 19-country eurozone.
He said that both Greece and its creditors – other European countries and the International Monetary Fund – agreed that some progress has been made.
The new pause in the talks, which were originally scheduled for completion last October, will allow officials participating in the negotiations to attend an IMF meeting in Washington this week.
Greece's left-led government is hoping to conclude the talks as soon as possible, as that would allow the beginning of negotiations with creditors on easing the country's crippling debt load.
The main sticking points are demanded cuts in pensions under a sweeping reform package designed to keep the tottering system alive, tax reform and the degree of protection accorded to individuals and companies struggling to repay their bank loans.
The Labor Ministry said agreement or significant progress has been achieved on the proposed pension reforms, insisting that there will be no reductions in basic pensions. It also said Tuesday that its proposals for a core national pension of 384 euros ($438) have been accepted.