Athens, August 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Zacharias Petrou
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has attributed a delay in the submission of the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy Framework (2017-2020) by the government to the fact that talks on Greek debt relief still hang in the balance.
Tsakalotos told a parliamentary committee discussing financial affairs earlier today that the government is waiting for the intentions of the country’s creditors on the future of the Greek economy to be clarified in the autumn before finalizing any medium term strategy.
An agreement on the form of debt relief will largely determine the Greek fiscal prospects in the next few years, the Fin Min said.
Tsakalotos revealed that at the end of the year the IMF is expected to provide an assessment of the measures the Greek government has implemented since last May which is crucial in determining a final deal with EU institutions on how and what type of debt relief will be granted.
Meanwhile, according to reports in the Greek press, the government is set to miss tax collection targets, meaning the automatic spending cuts mechanism is likely to kick in, resulting in more wage and pension cuts.
Latest figures reportedly show that taxes collected in July were 741 million euros less than in July 2015, raising questions about the effectiveness of the government’s taxation policy.
It is estimated that tax collection could fall wide off the set target by as much as 513 million euros for the year.
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos flatly rejected that fresh austerity measures will be implemented while government sources stresses that agreed fiscal targets will be met.