Greece sends comprehensive reform plan to lenders
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece sent a list of economic reform plans to European institutions and the International Monetary Fund around midnight that was “a valid starting point” for talks over its bailout, a source close to the European Commission said on Tuesday.
Greece needed to present its plans as a condition for extending its bailout program for an additional four months, in a deal struck with euro zone partners on Friday.
“In the Commission’s view, this list is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review,” the source said.
“We are notably encouraged by the strong commitment to combat tax evasion and corruption,” the source added.
Euro zone finance ministers are expected to discuss the reform plans in a conference call later on Tuesday.
The source said that the letter, sent to the Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, would now need to be further worked out to come up with a full reform plan by the end of April, as agreed on Friday.
“Determined and swift implementation of all reform commitments will be key for a successful conclusion of the review,” the source said.
The European Commission confirmed on Twitter that the list of Greek reform measures had been received on time.
Greek officials said the government was proposing measures which would include tackling what radical leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called Greece’s “humanitarian crisis”, hardship created during years of economic depression.
The government would also deal with tax arrears and bad loans, and end the foreclosure of primary homes, while fighting tax evasion, smuggling and corruption.
Tsipras declared victory in Friday’s deal but faced criticism from his own ranks. Veteran leftist Manolis Glezos, a Syriza member of the European Parliament, accused him of failing to fulfill Syriza’s campaign promises.
Germany, the biggest contributor to Greece’s two bailouts totaling 240 billion euros ($271.85 billion), insisted earlier that any extra spending on Athens’s list of reforms had to be offset by savings or higher taxes.
Tsipras had promised to scrap the program when he won election last month, but his government was forced into a climbdown on Friday to win the four-month extension.