After the conclusion of telephone talks between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, the new list of proposed measures that will persuade the troika of lenders to return to Greece for the final assessment has finally been sent.
This move will give the government the opportunity to gauge the Troika’s true intentions: whether they want to return to Greece for the final assessment or seek to bide their time in order to extend the country’s stay in the bailout program.
During the meetings that started on Friday and continued over the weekend in Maximos Mansion and the Ministry of Finance, the list was constantly changing, in search of the “perfect combination” of proposals.
The Government will reportedly propose a VAT increase in tourism from 6.5% to 13% in a final effort to avoid raising the reduced VAT rate of 6.5% while the possibility of changing the 30% reduces VAT rates applicable in the Aegean Islands has been excluded.
According to sources, the new “package” offered by the government to the troika in order to return to Athens has the following additional proposals:
– VAT increase in tourism for hotel nights from 6.5% to 13%.
– Freezing pensions for two years (2016-2017)
– Increasing the minimum insurance requirements to 20 years for persons born from 1975 onwards
– Withdrawal of the possibility to retire before the age of 62
– Stricter criteria for granting EKAS in order to raise 80 million euros.
– Reduction of the first salary of the newly appointed workers in the public sector 01.01.2015 onwards
– Reduction of travel expenses and overtime in the public sector
It remains to be seen whether the country’s lenders will be satisfied with these new proposals of continue pressing for more.