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European Commission: Letter by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici to the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, on the Greek government's reform proposals (24 February 2015)
The Commission services have carefully reviewed the Greek government's reform proposals sent to you yesterday as President of the Eurogroup. This has been preceded by constructive exchanges over the week-end between the Greek authorities and representatives of the European Commission and the other institutions.

In the view of the Commission, this list is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review as called for by the Eurogroup at its last meeting.

We are encouraged by the commitment to combat tax evasion and corruption, inter alia through efforts to modernise tax and custom administrations, as well as to pursue reforms to modernise the public administration. The Commission also notes the commitments in the area of statistics and considers it of vital importance that the institutional and operational independence of ELSTAT and its senior management be respected at all times.

Further specification of the reforms in these and other key areas is expected to be provided and agreed before the end of April, in line with last week's Eurogroup statement. The Commission looks forward to working with the new administration to elaborate what are at the moment still general commitments and transform these into clear policy actions.

The Commission underlines its willingness to continue to provide technical assistance in key areas to assist in the design and implementation of policies. As part of this process, the Commission underlines the importance of Greece fully respecting its commitment undertaken at the Eurogroup of 20 February 2015 to refrain from any roll back of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions.

Determined and swift implementation of reform commitments will be key for a successful conclusion of the review.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 09:21:25 AM EST


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 09:33:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It always comes down to Labor market 'reform'! Because a Government can only pay its debt, if it makes it simpler for people in the private sector to be fired. It makes total sense.
by rz on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 09:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it seams to be a done deal. I just read some twitter stuff that the Eurogroup has accepted. What I find interesting that in the end it is the IMF who objects. The IMF and Lagard have often been painted as the good guys. But from what I know Lagard buys 100% into Expansionary austerity. And the IMF might have a economics department which produces reasonable research but this has zero impact on the actual politics.
by rz on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 09:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The IMF and Lagard have often been painted as the good guys.

It's simply that the IMF isn't hung up about debt but about neo-lib 'reforms'.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 11:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rz:
But from what I know Lagard buys 100% into Expansionary austerity.

Yes, while making occasional token mouth-noises to the contrary, I suppose to reassure attentive observers that she is not really as stupid as her actions suggest.

A bit like when sadists say 'This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you'.

Another well-coiffed confabulator of the first water...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 04:31:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our initial impression is that the document covers a wide range of reform areas and in this sense, it is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point for a successful conclusion of the review. However, as we expected it was not possible for the authorities to elaborate on concrete proposals and commitments that can be assessed by the institutions in respect to growth, public finances and financial stability. Given the very limited time a vailable, this is understand


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 10:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I replied to Whalen's tweet that it could mean the gov't should not balance the budget by neglecting to pay whole swaths of workers, as has been done over the last several years.

The previous gov't has also been in arrears to hospitals, pharmacies and utilities.

While these constitute debt and obligations for the state, use of such measures allowed them to achieve balanced budgets 2 or 3 years ago. I believe that most of the payments have been made to hospitals and utilities, not so sure about all workers.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 02:00:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Can we conclude from this that "the Troika" is indeed dead and buried?

Long live "the Institutions"!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 11:20:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Expanding on this inchoate reaction :

What are the consequences if the IMF says "hey this is not OK"?

  • Concretely, how much fresh money is the IMF scheduled to provide? What are the consequences if they walk away?

  • Or will their objections be overruled?

  • Or do they still have veto power? In which case, the "troika" is still in business, and the shit hits the fan.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 01:47:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What are the consequences if the IMF says "hey this is not OK"?"

They don't say that for the moment, but they reserve the right to do so in the next round of negotiations.

I don't know if the complete Lagarde letter has already been linked to on one of the different threads here, but here is the whole package of statements and letters as pdf in English and German for the Bundestag's information. Lagarde's letter is on page 20. She definitely still claims veto power.

by Katrin on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 04:49:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the 'next round' mean in four month?
by rz on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 04:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how I interpret the letter.
by Katrin on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 04:58:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece has to work out detailed plans by April which will be "approved" again, I am rather guessing that that's what is meant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 11:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Link is broken.
by generic on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 05:11:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 05:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you.
by generic on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 05:25:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it highly interesting and positive that the letter from Draghi contains this:

"...the commitments outlined by the authorities (Greece) differ from existing programme material in a number of areas. In such cases, we will have to assess during the review whether measures which are not accepted by the authorities are replaced with measures of equal or better quality in terms of achieving the objectives of the program me."

To me this reads that Varoufakis even convinced Draghi to support the Syriza programme somewhat.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 at 06:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Commission services have carefully reviewed the Greek government's reform proposals

LOL, it seems more like they rushed to set the tone by releasing their judgement first (and a good thing they did it before the IMF).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 11:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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