Brussels, August 29, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The need to quickly implement the prerequisites associated with the release of the sub-tranches of EUR 2.8 bn, in order then to make way for the second evaluation and the specification of the measures for the debt, confirmed during their meeting on Monday in Brussels, the Finance and Economy ministers, Euclid Tsakalotos and George Stathakis respectively, and the deputy finance minister, Giorgos Chouliarakis with the Economy Commissioner Pierre Moskovisi, government sources state from Brussels.
According to the same sources, the meeting focused on three issues. Specifically, it confirmed the need to quickly complete the process with the prerequisites in order for the sub-tranche of EUR 2.8 bn to be disbursed. The same was agreed happen with the prerequisites of the second evaluation, in order to pave the way for the debt adjustment.
Second, it confirmed the need to create a “red phone” (crisis management) for direct communication between Athens and Brussels, in order to resolve quickly any issues that arise.
Thirdly, the two sides stressed that there should be expertise of all debt restructuring before the end of the year, in order to give a clear signal to the markets about the sustainability of Greek debt.
The same government sources reported that during the meeting of the three government ministers with Mr Moskovisi there was no discussion on the issue of ELSTAT. However, they did not exclude this issue be discussed in today’s Euroworking Group which convenes in Brussels.
The Commission’s position on the issue of ELSTAT backs the position of the Finance Commissioner, Pierre Moskovisi, is as reported today by the Brussels Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.
“The Commission’s letter was very clear”, Shinas said, recalling that it has been signed by three commissioners (P. Moskovisi, V. Dombrovskis and M. Theissen) and therefore its content can not be underestimated. He also confirmed that the Commission has already received the answer from the Greek Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, and expressed confidence that the issue will also be discussed in September’s Eurogroup.
With an e-mail the IMF requested the revision of statistics for the 2009 deficit
Entitled “The mails of betrayal” and subtitled “The IMF’s and Eurostat’s orders to Giorgos Papakonstantinou: Alter the deficit quickly and confidentially”, the newspaper “Dimokratia” reveals the sending of the e-mail to ELSTAT, with which they sought the upward revision of the 2009 deficit statistics.
As stated in the “Agency 104,9FM”, the journalist Manolis Kottakis, in the phase of the first deficit revision, in the absent of Mr Georgiou (he had not yet been appointed to ELSTAT), the IMF mail, which was sent by the head of the IMF delegation to Athens, Bob Traa, asked for the revision of the statistics, even those of the committee’s that had been set up by the Finance Ministry, after the rise of PASOK to power.
“That is, they were not satisfied with the first swelling of the deficit, which had happened at the time, they wanted another. And they even invoked the statute and threatened that if these statistics are not revised Greece would not be financed by the IMF. In the relevant mail Traa states that the issue with the statistics ‘should be bypassed quickly and silently”. It is an e-mail that has been published to the book of Michael Ignatiu. This was the first phase. In the second phase, when Greece was on the cliff, in my opinion, the National Statistical Service threw another stronger shove. It included in the deficit of 2009 the 17 SOEs. I must say that the appeal of the Supreme Court report reveals that they were counted in the 2009 deficit the surpluses 500 Legal Entities”.
With these revelations and others that will take place through the judicial investigation, Greece may request the revision of primary surpluses and a review of the debt.