It is extremely likely that negotiations between the government and the mission chiefs institutions on Greece’s second program review will conclude by Sunday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told public broadcaster ERT, in an interview on Thursday night.
“There’s no concern about the completion of the review. The overwhelming odds are that by Sunday we will have ended up with the texts of the technical agreement and then things will be set for the Eurogroup on May 22,” he said.
Asked about the ongoing talks, he said all sides had to make concessions.
“The Greek side accepted a change in the fiscal mix and the other side accepted the fact that apart from the negative [measures] there will be positive measures. Neither the Greek government has accepted the spirit of austerity supported by conservative forces nor have the conservatives accepted our own political framework,” he said, noting that the government’s plan is to lead the country out of supervision and regain economic sovereignty.
“We tried to the best, considering international conditions. It is the first time that a review is closing without additional financial burden,” he added.
Tzanakopoulos admitted that pension cuts and lowering of the income tax threshold have consequences, but added that the agreement will include measures to counter their effect such as the lowering of the unified property tax (ENFIA) and an increase in social spending for services used by weaker social groups.
After the technical agreement is signed, talks will begin for the medium-term debt relief measures and by the end of May the path will be open for Greece’s inclusion in the European Central bank’s bond-buying program, he said.