Staikoura’s contacts, Thomsen and… Hercules

Staikoura’s contacts, Thomsen and… Hercules

Officials from the Government’s economic staff held contacts in the US, in order to promote project “Hercules” aimed at trimming the Greek banks’ “red” loans by 30 billion euros.

Following Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras’ meetings in Washington and his contact with the IMF leadership, representatives of investment firms, banks and rating agencies, competent sources of the Greek Treasury Department, reported today a rather positive climate in which project “Hercules” was warmly received. The draft has been sent to the institutions for comments, so that, as an official in-charge said, it is made sure that it is well-developed before it is submitted to Parliament.

In the context of their trip to Washington, Minister Christos Staikouras and Deputy Foreign Minister George Zavvos had extensive talks with the head of the European sector of the Fund, Poul Thomsen, who just last Friday in his public statements brought up again the issue of lowering the tax-free threshold and the pensions.

Competent sources today asserted that no such issue was raised on behalf of the Fund during the meetings with the Greek ministers, pointing out that the government’s positions were clear, “There is no issue regarding the tax-free threshold or the pensions”.

The IMF repayment to take place after the 4th of December

As for the early repayment plan of one part of the expensive IMF loan, the process is progressing smoothly in collaboration with ESM, and is likely to be completed after the December 4 Eurogroup, during a period when the Ministry of Finance seeks to secure a positive report by the institutions and, on the basis of data on higher growth and lower borrowing costs for the Greek government, to set in motion incentives for changing the use of ANFAs and SMPs and for lower primary surpluses starting from 2021.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finace has sent to the institutions a plan to manage and reduce the government’s overdue liabilities to individuals, amounting to € 2.3 billion. The aim is, according to a Finance Ministry official, to create a mechanism to avoid the generation of new overdue liabilities while reducing them at the same time. /ibna