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Eurogroup: Pension and tax threshold cuts to save 3.6 bln euros

The first conclusions!

Agreement for measures of 3.6 billion Euro. Reductions in pension and tax-free threshold.

Dijsselbloem: After the completion of the technical agreement will talk about debt.

“We achieved great progress in the second evaluation after the previous Eurogroup, when on my initiative we changed the strategy on the things we negotiate about”, he added.

According to the head of the Eurogroup measures amounting to 1% of GDP on pensions (1.8 bn. Euros) will apply from 2019 and the other 1% of the changes in tax-free threshold, in 2020.

“The Greek authorities should continue to implement the prerequisites because as time passes things become more difficult”, stated Mr. Benoit Coeuré of the European Central Bank.

The head of the ESM Klaus Regling said, “we talked a lot about primary surpluses, but I think that there are other countries that have issues as well. If the figures for 2016 will be confirmed we will consider it to be a great achievement”.

On his part, Pierre Moskovisi stressed that the agreement in principle came after months of “difficult negotiations” and its intensification in recent weeks, days and hours. He described the agreement “balanced”, as beyond the additional fiscal effort is required of Greece in 2019 and 2020, there is the prospect of a compensation package that is important for the support of social groups that are hit by the crisis.

In the questions that followed the president of the Eurogroup said that “I could not talk about an agreement if it had not favored the IMF”.

Asked about the exact return of the Institutions, he stated Ntaiselmploum said “I never give dates for the return of the Institutions but now that we have resolved the major issues there is no significant reason not to return to Athens as soon as possible. I asked the technical groups who are here in Malta to work today and tomorrow on certain issues. It is a purely technical issue and not political, we must see the program on public holidays but we solve important problems.”