Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on Sunday said that IMF is not interested on the size of the primary surplus in 2019 but uses it to push Greece to reforms on the tax free ceiling and pensions because last summer Greece completed two very important reforms in the pension system and in the taxation” he said to reporters after his address to SYRIZA Central Committee.
Tsakalotos also said that the IMF uses very questionable reports to strengthen its position. He referred to IMF’s claims that 40 to 50 percent of the Greek population does not pay taxes adding that if the IMF used the same practices in all the European countries it would know that this percentage is 12 percent. In the same context is included Poul Thomsen’s view that the German pensioners are as wealthy as the Greeks. “You can only laugh at this and I have invited him to come to Greece and then go to Germany and make the comparison”.
“The IMF should decide quickly what it wants to do” underlined Tsakalotos adding that “if it wants to participate in the programme it must respect the efforts of the Greek people in the last years as well as Europe’s institutional framework for labour. If it wants pressure, it can put pressure on the countries that do not accept more reasonable primary surpluses for Greece” he underlined.
Referring to the course of the negotiation he noted “it is good we are keeping some things for the end of the negotiation because this is what good negotiators do”.
He appeared optimistic over the result of the negotiation as he said everyone understands that due to the imminent elections in many European countries and to other problems as the refugees problem the number of issues and restrictions is high. “The time is difficult for a Grexit” he said and underlined that “all parts are trying to find a solution. With some goodwill from all sides we may reach an agreement very soon. We are negotiating very hard” said Tsakalotos adding that “the negotiation group has not received a blank check and the context of the negotiation always derives from collective decisions.