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Greek reforms will put economy on track: Athens

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Greece said Friday the reform proposals it will soon present to its creditors will put the country's economy on track without the pain of austerity.

[ATHENS] Greece said Friday the reform proposals it will soon present to its creditors will put the country's economy on track without the pain of austerity.

A government document said the proposals, to be finalised by technical experts this weekend, would bring in 3.0 billion euros (US$3.2 billion) in revenue, without resorting to wage and pension cuts.

The measures would also see the crisis-hit Greek economy grow by 1.4 per cent this year, the document said.

Greece needs a deal next week to unblock stalled EU-IMF loans and enable it to keep paying its debts.

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Greek experts "will go to Brussels tonight for a Saturday meeting, to finalise the reform list that will be presented on Monday," a Greek government source told AFP.

The government source also dismissed as "groundless" a report in Germany's Bild daily that Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis would soon resign.

Bild quoted an unnamed government insider saying that the minister's resignation was "only a matter of time." Mr Varoufakis, who has often cut a controversial figure in the negotiations, said on Twitter that rumours of his resignation were "amusing." The maverick economist and prolific speaker had uncharacteristically scaled back public appearances this month after a dispute over whether he flashed his middle finger at Germany during a 2013 speech.

Greece's new radical government, which rejects austerity measures, has until next month to persuade its EU-IMF creditors to accept its alternative reforms.

The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which came to power in January, has pledged to crack down on tax evasion and corruption to restore growth.

But in the absence of a deal, Greece has received none of the money still remaining in its 240-billion-euro (US$263-billion) bailout.

Another government source on Friday said that Athens had repeatedly warned its creditors it would no longer be able to keep up with its debt payments unless the flow of loans resumed.

"The government has made it clear at all levels of the eurozone and the IMF that it will not continue to service the public debt from its own funds if the creditors do not immediately disburse instalments delayed since 2014," the source said.

Mr Tsipras had already warned earlier this week in a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Athens would not be able to service its debt without help from the EU.

AFP

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