Greece outlined its proposals to close a potential fiscal gap in the 2015 budget, in a memo it sent this week to the troika of its lenders, describing it as ‘a last good faith attempt to mitigate the troika’s ‘legitimate concerns’ over the credibility of Greece’s suggested programme.
The memo, signed by Greek Finance minister Gikas Hardouvelis, was drafted after talks between both sides in Paris ended in an impasse this week.
Although the memo states that the government and troika ‘agree to disagree’ on the ‘balance of risks’ in the 2015 budget, it insisted it is committed to specific contingent measures to close a fiscal gap if it arises, including the ‘immediate adoption of additional fiscal measures on the VAT – ‘aligning the VAT rate on hotels with VAT on restaurants and catering’.
“We give a concrete contingency package commitment to close a potential fiscal gap’ the memo, signed by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, said, adding that Greece is ‘determined to walk the extra mile’ but it is faced with ‘inherent limitations as ‘the proposal exceeds the limits of our reform capital.’’
“This the very maximum we can offer,” Hardouvelis said
Media reports this week said Greece wants to asks for an extension of its bailout for a few weeks, despite several Eurozone countries supporting a six-month extension.
Speaking to Reuters, a finance ministry official said “Greece’s position remains that it is only asking for a short-term technical extension,”
“Although the purpose of the technical extension would be to give more time to the Greek authorities to prepare legislation for adoption in January 2015, the technical extension could be for a longer period to cover for the possibility of delays in the runup to the Greek presidential elections,” said a document -obtained by Reuters -addressed to eurozone finance ministers.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos were due to hold talks on Friday morning about Greece’s negotiations with the troika.