Greek proposals get green light from Euroworking Group

The Greek reforms that are slightly better than the reforms Greeks rejected in the July 5 referendum were approved by the Euroworking Group but may be hardened by the Eurogroup

Positive developments in Brussels as the Euroworking Group needed just a brief amount of time to give its approval to Greek proposals it received on Friday. Eurogroup is meeting at 4 p.m. (Greek time) to make amendments and give its seal to the agreement before it heads to EZ parliaments for ratification.

FAZ’s top story on Saturday states that the Greek proposals for reforms being discussed by the Eurogroup on Saturday is just the basis of reforms on continued negotiations with Greece. The article notes that the reforms received a ‘warm reception’ and were welcomed as a steady footing for a new bailout program from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

“The three institutions have made a first joint assessment of the Greek reform proposals submitted Thursday night. Under certain conditions, they jointly see the proposals as a basis for negotiating an ESM programme. This assessment was sent to the Eurogroup president last night,” the official said.

“A new program would not just be based on necessary preconditions from Athens. It would also need structural indexes, future goals and quantitative calculations concerning the future,” reports German daily FAZ.

The institutions note that the reforms proposed by Athens would yield revenue worth 2.5% of the GDP per annum “bearing in mind the weakening of macroeconomic and credit terms” are not enough to achieve what has been agreed upon. To achieve a primary surplus worth 1% for this year and 2%, 3% and 3.5% without additional iterest rates and loan repayments, there would need to be additional measures.

Greece’s creditors are urging Greece to provide them with a VAT chart, such as one that would present a time chart of the abolition of tax exemptions for islands so that the economic consequences can be calculated.

Institutions warn of “significant dangers” as far as Greece’s pension system is concerned following a Greek high court verdict judging pension cuts as unconstitutional. They stress that Athens needs to have succinct policies and clear its position from the previous agreement concerning the viability of the pension system.

There are a number of gaps in the Greek proposal and point to a mutual understanding of the text on which a deal is based, especially concerning the implementation of measures.