Government sources on Thursday said they were confident that the institutions will soon give the new welfare measures announced by the prime minister the all-clear, finding them compatible with what has been agreed between Greece and its creditors. They said this would likely happen within the next few days and definitely before Christmas.
When this happened, the same sources added, Athens expects that the countries now reacting to the same measures will withdraw their objections and unblock the start of short-term measures to relieve Greece’s debt in 2017.
Only German asked to see the institutions’ report on whether the social welfare measures announced by the Greek government are compatible with the agreement made in the summer of 2015, at a time when all other countries were in favor, the sources said.
Asked to explain the announcements made by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, they pointed out that these basically repeated the questions of the German side.
According to the Greek sources, even if there was a reference to Greece’s obligation to inform the institutions before announcing such welfare measures, this was of minor importance and did not create a problem for Athens. They made clear that the government remains steadfastly opposed to legislating for more austerity measures in advance.
The same sources also welcomed the support given to Greek positions by PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata and other officials at the Party of European Socialists summit.
Regarding a meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the source said that Tsipras briefed his Dutch counterpart on the refugee issue and economic issues, specifically about the welfare measures he recently announced.