The Greek government has sent its proposals to the troika in order to complete the latest review, with a response expected early on Monday.
The measures are thought to include:
- Increase the VAT in tourism (overnight stays) from 6.5% to 11% or 13%
- Increase the minimum years of insurance from 15 to 20 years (for those born in 1975 onwards)
- Abolish all pensions granted to those aged 62 and under.
- This measure will gradually come into effect in 2019.
- Freeze pensions for 2016 and 2017.
- Introduce stricter criteria for the social solidarity benefit for pensioners (“EKAS”) in order to reduce the overall cost by 80 million euros.
- Reduce the basic wages for the public sector to 648 euros as of January 1st 2015, while gradually reducing overtime, travel expenses etc.
The package of new measures does not include any changes to the “100 installment” debt settlement which the coalition government recently unrolled, to which the troika has objected. The IMF in particular has been pressuring for the introduction of income and asset criteria, in order to narrow the scope of beneficiaries.
Furthermore, a high-ranking Eurozone official, thought to be German Finance Minister Schäuble, told Spiegel that Greece is not ready to leave the bailout program and that the 100 installments provision was for tax evaders and not tax payers.
The Minister of Finances Gikas Hardouvelis [pictured] told the Agora newspaper that “the government’s strategy is to discuss until a final agreement is reached with our partners and creditors” and was confident of the outcome of negotiations. Sources from the Ministry stress that an agreement with the troika will be made within the week.