The home-grown economic growth plan recently presented to the Eurogroup by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotis enshrines the weighty post-bailout commitments of the government, including the requirement that Athens achieve a hefty 3.5 percent primary surplus until 2022.
At the same time, Athens will attempt to maintain a two percent growth rate, while implementing a host of commitments to reform public administration, the judiciary, and tax administration.
The only funds Greece will be allowed to use for social welfare will be revenues from efforts to combat tax evasion.
The development plan, which will serve as a post-bailout fiscal compass, has not yet been presented in Greece, as it is subject to approval by Athens’ creditors and eurozone finance ministers, who reportedly view the plan with some skepticism.
The plan unveiled by Tsakalotos in a PowerPoint presentation in Sofia – as other finance ministers reportedly saw it – is quite general, does not set specific targets or timetables for actions, and does not detail incentives to bolster the seven sectors of the economy that the government itself sees as being the engine for economic growth: Transportation, energy, shipping, agriculture, industry, medicines, and tourism.
In a sub-section on just economic development, Tsakalotos proposes the re-institution of collective bargaining agreements, a gradual increase in the minimum wage, and pro-active job creation policies, similar to what was done in Portugal.