Parliamentary budget report: Further delays in review bring new memorandum closer

Report critical of government handling of negotiations

The latest report from the parliament’s budget office is a slap in the face for the Greek government and its negotiating tactics. The report warns that any further delays in the completion of the second review would lead to a fourth memorandum, while noting that the procrastination would result be more costly. “The economic costs due to delays and postponements in the review process, namely a final agreement on the adjustment program, may prove be greater for Greece than the potential benefit, which in addition will be temporary”, the report reads. It goes on to criticise the government’s decision to provide an extraordinary pension bonus, claiming the long-term unemployed were in greater need of the benefit. The decline of the annual unemployment rate is tied to a concurrent rise in “flexible” forms of employment. The report dubs the 2017 projections more a “message of hope” than a forecast grounded in reality. The tax burden level is characterised as high in conjunction with the other structural reforms in the economy.