Date
24 November 2017
A carnival float depicting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras passes through the main street in the southwestern town of Patras. Tspiras' government is preparing a reform plan ahead of Monday's deadline on a eurozone bailout extension. Photo: R
A carnival float depicting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras passes through the main street in the southwestern town of Patras. Tspiras' government is preparing a reform plan ahead of Monday's deadline on a eurozone bailout extension. Photo: R

Greece under pressure as reform deadline looms

Greece is under pressure to put together a comprehensive reform package ahead of Monday’s deadline with international creditors.

If the proposal is approved, Athens will get a four-month extension on its debt repayments, according to BBC News.

The reform will include an overhaul of the country’s tax regime to crack down on tax evasion and streamlining of the civil service, Greek Minister of State Nikos Pappas said.

Pappas said the reform plan would take the Greek economy “out of sedation”.

“We are compiling a list of measures to make the Greek civil service more effective and to combat tax evasion,” he told Greece’s Mega Channel.

Pappas said talks this week would be “a daily battle… every centimeter of ground must be won with effort”.

The agreement reached on Friday with European finance ministers extends Greece’s financial rescue program by four months, but creditors gave Athens until Monday to come up with a list of reform.

The reform must then be approved before eurozone members ratify a bailout extension on Tuesday.

Many analysts have described Friday’s agreement as a climb-down and one prominent Syriza euro-MP has expressed his frustration.

In a blog, Manolis Glezos, a 92-year-old wartime resistance hero, said: “I apologise to the Greek people because I took part in this illusion.”

“There can be no compromise… between a slave and a conqueror, the only solution is freedom,” Glezos said.

On Saturday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras said in a televised address that his government had “won a battle, not the war”.

If the reform is approved and the deal stands, the immediate risk of Greece running out of money would be removed, giving the country time to negotiate further to change the terms of the bailout.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said he would work night and day on the reform plan.

“If the list of reform is not agreed, this agreement is dead,” he said.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

CG/RA

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