Greece to present EU with list of reforms

Alexis Tsipras

A list of reforms, costed and with timelines, will be presented to Brussels by Athens within the next two weeks, with all sides agreeing that a new start for Greece is needed.

A three-hour mini-summit between the main players in the country’s bailout saga helped clear the air between top EU officials as Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to give the EU, ECB, and IMF experts access to data.

Mr Tsipras has promised to redraw the list of commitments which was handed over to the troika last month which showed how much each goal can save the exchequer and provided a date for their implementation.

He will present this as an alternative list of reforms to those of the previous government. Depending on progress, he could receive some of the money Athens is due from the bailout before the end of April.

“We are near where we were four weeks ago,” an ECB source suggested yesterday , adding that the climate had improved following the late-night mini-summit between Mr Tsipras, the German chancellor, French president, and presidents of the ECB, European Commission, European Council, and Eurogroup.

Mr Tsipras, visibly more relaxed following the meeting in Brussels late on Thursday, was assured that all countries have to open their books to the IMF and commission. Yesterday, he began to outline how he will present the new-found co-operation to his parliament and citizens.

He said the so-called fifth review of their existing programme no longer exists and that the Greek authorities will draw up and implement the new list of reforms, adding that “the recession measures are over”.

Mr Tsipras said Greece’s humanitarian crisis was now acknowledged at the highest level in the EU. At the mini-summit, he spent a considerable amount of time describing the hardships faced by the Greeks to the officials.

He told journalists afterwards that Greece did not have a short-term liquidity problem, said all its debt obligations would be met, and that bank deposits were secure. He believed it could access about €800m of an estimated €2bn tax due. The IMF is owed €350m while banks are haemorrhaging deposits.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he explained to Mr Tsipras that, like Ireland, he could replace troika cuts with its own measures of equal value.

In her press conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated this, noting that Ireland “was now growing strongly”.

Ms Merkel invited Mr Tsipras to Berlin on Monday to discuss some German interests, including the €1.2bn sale of 14 Greek airports to a consortium whose main partner is Frankfurt Airport. Greece was to privatise assets worth €22bn but managed just €5bn.


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