Editorial: From conflict to measures…

After the Prime Minister confidently told his MPs that the negotiation and review will conclude by the 22nd of April, it is clear why…

Editorial:  From conflict to measures… | tovima.gr

After the Prime Minister confidently told his MPs that the negotiation and review will conclude by the 22nd of April, it is clear why he chose to escalate the conflict with the IMF. The main points of the IMF’s disagreements, as described in the tapped conversations, had been known for some time, especially by Mr. Tsipras.

The escalation of the conflict, trading letters with Mrs. Lagarde and using the President of the Republic, who appears to actively participate in this conflict with the IMF, is creating more problems in the negotiation that Mr. Tsipras had hoped for. After all, in last Friday’s Euro Working Group, the representatives of all institutions expressed concerns about the progress of the review.

Mr. Tsipras however attempted to distort reality over this major issue, the debt relief proposed by the IMF, which he has made a banner. Who can deny it, he asked his MPs. Only Mr. Schäuble’s spokesperson clarified on the same day that there was no chance of a debt haircut.

It will become apparent over the next few days of the negotiations where this tactic of Mr. Tipras – which separates the “good” Europeans from the “bad” IMF” – will lead us. For the time being and after the clash with the IMF, the government is preparing to introduce a supplementary package of measures worth 1.8 billion euros, in hopes of closing the review. That is more or less what the Fund was after, which either wanted more measures to cover the budget gap or reduce the surpluses and carry out a haircut.

This conflict with the IMF will force the government into taking additional measures – tax hikes and budget cuts – in hopes of closing the review. If we are to accept Mr. Tsipras’ rationale, the measures demanded by the Fund were extreme, while those proposed by the government, for a 3.5% surplus will be light!

We have seen the SYRIZA government’s media spin of fabricating enemies and the hard negotiation. Unfortunately it always resulted in risky situations for Greece. Let us hope that we will not have a repeat of last year’s tragic negotiation…

TO VIMA

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