Greece has launched the formal process to pre-pay part of the loans it has received from the International Monetary Fund after Finance Minister Christos Staikouras officially requested clearance from the European Stability Mechanism in a letter on Monday.
The fourth post-programme review is due to begin in Athens on Monday, with fiscal issues expected to top the agenda as the government prepared to include the tax cuts announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the 2020 draft budget.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras was due on Friday to take up the government’s drive to convince Greece’s eurozone partners that the country is on the right track following this summer’s elections.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras is preparing to provide his eurozone counterparts with more details on Friday about the government’s fiscal plans, as set out by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki Expo over the weekend.
The European Commission (EC) marked on Tuesday the first anniversary from the completion of Greece’s third adjustment programme - a 3-year adjustment effort with emphasis on structural reforms and provided loans of just short of 62 billion euros via the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
The Greek government is keeping high up on its agenda the matter of renegotiating lower fiscal targets with the institutions as New Democracy tries to build its case ahead of talks with the creditors in September.
Greece’s finance minister revealed in an interview with Kathimerini newspaper over the weekend that the range of tax relief measures the governing party had pledged in the election campaign will be subject to the available fiscal space in 2020, which needs to be discussed and agreed with the European creditors.
The Finance Ministry is getting down to the business of drafting the first version of the 2020 budget, which will have to achieve the key economic goals pledged by New Democracy but also satisfy Greece’s lenders.
Following the announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday of immediate tax cuts, with others to follow, focus is turning to the government’s ability to find the fiscal space necessary to implement the measures while also meeting the primary surplus target for this year and 2020.
Greek government officials held introductory talks with the representatives of the institutions on Thursday as New Democracy fleshes out its plans to address key economic issues.